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Hi Project,

I am an assiduous reader of the Gay Project forum, the stories that you have published, in more than a few cases are similar to what I have been experiencing for years, but I would like to know your specific opinion about my personal situation, which I don’t always know how to deal with; generally it doesn’t cause me big problems but it certainly puts me in situations of great uncertainty, I would like to better understand how I can make my partner happier. I know that, putting the question in these terms, it is impossible to get a precise idea, so I come to the heart of the matter.
I am 45 years old, I practically lived alone until I was 35, then I met by chance Lorenzo, called Enzo, a Florentine guy who was then twenty-five years old. The story of our first meeting is unbelievable. It was Sunday, around 11 in the night, it was raining heavily, I was coming home, when I see a car pulled up along a large road and a person who asks for help and makes a sign to stop. For a moment I don’t know what to do, then, I confess, I see that the person is a tall, thin and wet guy and then I trust and I stop, also because helping a handsome guy is not just a humanitarian gesture. 

I must say that I was struck at first glance. He tells me that the car broke down and that he doesn’t know what to do. I tell him to get in my car and we'd be worried about the car the next day, because he could not possibly stay there under the rain. He gets into my car, I ask him where I can accompany him and he tells me that he should return to Florence (we were in Rome), but that the car does not work, I ask him if he wants to accompany him to the hotel somewhere, he replies that he has not money, I offer to lend him money but he doesn’t really want to talk about money, he asks me if I can host him for the night, I am a bit puzzled because I care a lot to my privacy and such an unusual request forces  me to decide when I’m not able to understand what I’m doing, then I finally accept. 

He goes up to my house, I give him some dry clothes and he goes to change clothes, I make him a bed in the smallest room, which is small but a real bedroom, I ask him if he has had dinner and he says no. I prepare a quick dinner, he's tired, it's almost one o'clock and I tell him to go to sleep. The next day he would like to put back his clothes but they are still wet. He is not expert in cars, so I call the tow truck and have his car brought to my workshop. The mechanic says that the damage is serious and that it will take a few days, Enzo insists that he must return absolutely to Florence in a short time, if necessary by train. I told him that I would take him to Florence with my car and then I would bring to him the repaired car a few days later. He replies that he has no money to pay for the repair but that he will give me everything back as soon as he can. I tell him it's fine with me. I arrange some work things by phone and then we leave.

The trip is short but allows us to talk a lot. He asks me why I do all these things for him, I am very embarrassed, but then I tell him the truth that I’m gay and that for someone like me, being able to help a guy is a very rewarding thing. After a few minutes he tells me that he too is gay, which I am initially reluctant to believe. He tells me what he was doing in Rome. In practice he is in love with a guy who treated him very badly and this would not have been a problem for him, but that guy, in fact, didn’t want to be with him. Enzo had come to Rome by car, running in desperation, because he felt lost, he wanted to talk to that guy, to convince him not to leave, but he could not convince him. In telling me the story he began to cry in sobs and he was really bad, while droving I held his left hand for a few seconds and he calmed down a bit, asked me the cell phone number and gave me his. 

In Florence he told me to leave him near Santa Maria Novella and then leave immediately, and I did just that. After three days his car was repaired, I called him and told him that I would bring him back the car the following Sunday, he asked me to bring him the receipt of the mechanic because "as soon as possible" he would have returned everything. On Sunday I went to Florence with his car. The first thing he did was asking for the receipt. I thought he would stay to talk to me at least a little but it did not happen, he only said thank you, without even shaking my hand and dismissed me. 

I confess that I was a bit bad, I felt a perfect fool who had done so many miles and had spent plenty of money to be then dismissed so trivially. I have not heard from Enzo for more than a month and I no longer thought about him. One night, now very late, around two o'clock, he calls me and asks me what I'm doing, I tell him I'm sleeping. He asks me: "Are you alone?" I say yes and he says, "Then open the doorway." The first thing he did was to give me back the money to repair the car, but he was upset, his face was wrecked and all flushed evidently he had decided to come to me already late at night and had gone all the way in anxiety. He stood up and started crying, saying he could not live anymore, that life did not make any sense to him, that he would never be happy. 

At that moment I hugged him, but he was really bad, I held him as tightly as I could, I unkempt his hair and I said, "I make the bed for you." He replied that he wanted to sleep with me, I said I had only a single bed, but it was indifferent to him. We went to bed, but there was nothing erotic, he was sick, at times he was trembling, he read my doubts in my face and told me. "I don’t use substances ... don’t be afraid of me, please." I put an arm under his head and he turned to me. I told him: "Here you have nothing to fear ... try to feel comfortable ..." But he was agitated for most of the night. I did not know what to do, at times I thought he had really serious problems. It was morning when he fell asleep. We had slept not even an hour. I sat next to the bed to see him rest, he was really a nice guy and I was wondering why that other guy didn’t want to be with him. 

Of course Enzo's ways of doing were very far from the typical ways of doing of a gay guy, he seemed emotionally unstable, if the night before he had done all that way it was not just to bring my money back for the car, he probably felt really bad, he was alone and didn’t know who to turn to. In short, while I saw him rest, a thousand doubts crowded my mind, from the most terrible, that he could get to an insane gesture, to the fact that he could be assaulted by emotion, perhaps along the way, risking to lose control of car. Because he had damaged the car for having forced it too much, at least according to the mechanic. He woke up after nine, I sent him to take a shower and I prepared breakfast. The first thing he told me was: "You could also take advantage of me when I was sick but you didn’t. Now I feel better." I remained silent, I did not know what to say, and he started crying but more quietly, he followed me into the kitchen and began to have breakfast, then he told me: "Can I stay here a few days?" I replied: "Of course, all the time you want!" He said: "Only two or three days." Instinctively I trusted him. 

In the following days we  talked a lot. I was listening to him, fascinated. I liked a lot also Lorenzo’s character, he was neither aggressive nor arrogant nor touchy, he tended if ever to belittle himself. He had graduated with honors in a very difficult scientific discipline and had just started his doctorate program. He lived on his scholarship. The relationships with his family were bad, not in the sense that there was hate, but there was much worse, there was total mutual indifference. Enzo was not bad for the university, even if he was beginning to neglect it, he was sick because he didn’t have anyone who loved him. He considered himself something similar to a border line case, almost a pathological case. I would have proposed to him to stay with me permanently, but he had his studies in Florence, and they were important studies that he could not let go lightly. We talked about it a lot and we concluded that if he had started studying again with the utmost seriousness, I would have gone to Florence on Friday evening and would have returned to Rome on Monday morning. He did not want to make me upset but in the end he was convinced that it would be the best solution.

He stayed at my house for five days. Between us there was nothing explicitly sexual, even if seeing him smile gave me moments of total happiness. Sometimes I tried to tell him that he is a special person but he stopped me right away: "No talk!" In those few days, however, we really told each other everything, he was hesitant because he thought that certain things would have created difficulties but I was more and more in love. If sometimes a few moments of misunderstanding were created between us, they were very rare, and after a few seconds the thing was over. Since December I started going back and forth from Rome to Florence by car, but since it was really destructive after a few weeks I preferred the train. 

Since April I rented a 36 square meter micro-apartment in the outskirts of Florence, the costs were more or less those of the hotel, but at least Enzo could come and stay with me for three nights. He used to take books with him and study at our home, the basic thing was to stay together. There were no more secrets among us. I began to understand many things of the life of Enzo that I never imagined and I was more and more in love, he made me an extreme tenderness. Between us the sincerity was total, sometimes brutal: he told me that I was not his ideal type of man, that he loved me but was not in love with me, this thing initially slowed my enthusiasm, even if I continued to go to Florence every week. One night while we were sleeping together in the same bed, he said to me: "I'm getting excited and it never happened to me before ..." I tried to change the subject, but he did not allow it and only told me. "Don’t say no! It's important to me." We hugged each other and it was the first time I made love with a guy.

Enzo seemed like another person, he was calm, laughed, said nonsense, behaved like a kid playing, a marvelous spectacle, the confidence between us was total. I saw him happy, his eyes were laughing and they were beautiful. His way of making love was overwhelming. I think that for me I could not have imagined a first time more involving. But after sex things have changed and a heavy melancholy has taken over, almost a regret for having transformed into a sexual dimension something that before was only sublimated, Enzo had in mind that he had been with me because he loved me but not because he was attracted sexually to me, although frankly it seemed to me that he was attracted, but then even the melancholy passed and we remained naked embraced until the morning. I was afraid of how Enzo could have interpreted what had happened between us, but actually it happened many more times and there were never problems. 

We went on like that for three years, he got his doctorate and then had a research job in Rome and almost automatically, he came to stay at my house. He was almost thirty and I was almost forty. Enzo was fine with me, but I understood that even if he would always consider me an important person, I would never have been the love of his life. We talked a lot about this. Initially he thought that this speech would throw me into depression and for this he was very cautious, but I tried to make him understand that if he had taken other paths I would have continued to love him anyway, also because he would have continued to love me anyway. He only told me: "If it happens, I'll tell you. But I feel lighter when I think it would not be a betrayal for you." His life was more or less monotonous as ever. 

One evening, more or less a year later, he told me: "Do you remember the speech we did almost a year ago? ... Well I think it's happening ..." I hugged him and I only told him: "I love you!" And he replied: "Me too." He started to stay away from home often and not to come back at night. I felt lonely, Enzo was missing me, sometimes I was assaulted by moments of profound melancholy, because I thought I would definitely lose him. When he came home he was calm, it was clear that he had created a good relationship with the new guy. I tried to welcome him in the most normal and quiet way possible, for example, cooking for him particular dishes that he liked and never leaving him alone. Of his new companion he spoke only good and I was pleased. His story with that guy lasted three years, then Enzo began to feel restless and no longer be well, when he was in our house he did not sleep at night, he was often melancholic, sometimes he began to cry and I could not comfort him. I didn’t ask questions not to be invasive, but he was sick, it was obvious that the relationship with the other guy was in crisis but I did not know why and he did not tell me. I thought that the other guy knew only the side, so to speak, "happy" of Enzo and was not equipped to understand and manage the dark moments. The period of uncertainty went on for a couple of months. 

One evening Enzo returns home and tells me that I must accompany him to take the hiv test, I feel terrified, but he immediately stops me: "I do it only for scruple, more for you than for me, I'm not really worried." He did the test that came negative, then he redid it after four months and even then it came negative, then he said to me: "Now you have nothing to fear." And so we started making love again, but every now and then memories of when he was making love with that other guy came back to him, and then he did not feel like going on and he said: "Not today." 

About two years ago I had a very serious cardiological problem, I felt bad while I was talking to Enzo, I was breathless and I had severe chest pains. He called "immediately" the emergency room and I ended up in intensive care. If there had not been Enzo I would have died, but he was there and he knew exactly what to do. He assisted me for the period of hospitalization, that was however short because I had been brought to intensive care in less than an hour after the coronary obstruction. In practice, I owe my life to Enzo and even now that I am completely autonomous again, he takes care of me. Yet, dear Project, sometimes I see him melancholic, he loves me, and I have no doubts about this, but it's as if he never knew what to do with his life. 

He is not in love with me but between us there is an intimacy, even physical, which reassures him because he knows that there is someone who would never say no to him and really loves him. Every now and then there is a bit of sex between us, almost to confirm that we don’t have mutual closings, but I think that the strongest element of our relationship is mutual trust, in fact we are a certainty for one another. I know he could fall in love with other guys but this doesn’t scare me, I see him above all concentrated on his research work. Sometimes he tries to explain what it is, but these things are too difficult for me. If you were me, Project, what would you do? Thank you for your patience and I wish you a very good 2010!


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