Raising Cairn – Celeste Roberge
This wasn’t the post i planned to write today. Really, i was going to start writing again and explain the absence, but then our world was rocked.
We learned that The Seal took his life.
i thought i had written more about The Seal, but when i searched my posts i could not find as much as i thought there would be. He was a lifestyle friend, swinging, not BDSM, and really a good one for me. We found each other online, both athletic and confident, single, looking for sexy friends. This was some time after One Guy and i divorced, before Maximus and i had gotten reacquainted, and i was just starting to swing single. Swinging single was new for me and i was very nervous doing it alone.
After a little bit of chatting online, The Seal and i met for breakfast. i hadn’t planned on playing on the first date, just get to know him, but we hit it off so well and i was so turned on, that i invited him back to my house to play. It was great! He was strong and driving, had great stamina, was confident in bed, playful, and loved to make me squirt–all things i love in bed. We collapsed in a sweaty heap, visiting, and went at it again!
We became frequent play partners, either meeting at my house or his, or at the swing club in Portland. i hated going to the club solo, so it was wonderful to have a partner to go with again! i remember one time, The Seal was fucking my brains out in a private room with the curtains open. i was only wearing my ribbon laced boots and we had drawn a huge crowd. We finished, dressed, and pushed our way through the crowd at our window and surprisingly encountered One Guy and his date–he obviously had been watching and didn’t realize it was me until he looked down at my legs and incredulously exclaimed, “Nice boots!” It was a great moment!
We had countless moments as sex partners, but he was a great friend too. We trained for triathlons together, he was my “plus one” for parties, even when i got involved with Maximus. He was someone i never hesitated to introduce to others, whether it they were vanilla or lifestyle. He was my first DVP with Mountain Man! One of my happiest memories was the day he did a sprint distance triathlon with his 9-year-old son, his son’s first tri–it was a glorious day and one i will never forget–such joy!
Maximus and The Seal became friends as well. There was never any animosity between them. The Seal was there the first time i took Maximus to the swing club in Portland–the infamous Kink Night. Maximus was so amazed at the suspensions, floggings, BDSM apparatus, that He went a little haywire, flitting here and there throughout the club, so much so that The Seal and i sent him off to watch the spectacle while we played. The Seal asked me many times if everything was okay with Maximus that night, so surprised by His wide-eyed, boyish behavior, and out of concern for me. That’s how he was.
He became part of the group with M&S. Highly regarded and reputed for his stamina. One of the most repeated one liners often blurted out at their parties is, “I—-LOVE—-YOU—GABRIELLA!!” A breathless sentence shouted by my friend Busty Blondie while being pounded by The Seal his first time at one of M&S’s parties.
Shortly before i moved up to be with Maximus, The Seal texted me that he wanted to meet his new “beautiful fiancé.” He’d been seeing a woman for about a year, long distance, and i’d not met her–i assumed it was her. i asked, “Wow, is this the same gf?” and he replied, “No, new girl.” i was shocked, because he literally had just taken his girlfriend to a meetup in Virginia to meet military friends. i asked if his fiancé was lifestyle and he replied that she was but that they were not currently playing. We never did get to meet her and they were married one month later.
We kinda lost touch, other than Facebook. i’d moved, he was married to someone i wasn’t sure was in the lifestyle, so we reverted to vanilla friends. And i was okay with that. He looked happy!
Two weeks ago was M&S’s last play party at their beautiful cabin near Mt. Hood, Oregon. M has been working overseas for the past year and the property is just too much for S to maintain on her own–and she misses him. They are selling the property and then she will be moving overseas to be with him. S mentioned that The Seal might be coming, but she wasn’t sure. She and i went through a party “lost and found” box and we found one of his t-shirts. Wanting to entice him to come, i sent him a picture with the comment, “i’m holding your shirt hostage.” He replied, “I’ll be there in an hour!” We were all thrilled he was coming.
Dinner was over and we were already playing when The Seal arrived. i came down and greeted him. He had a couple bites to eat and i asked how his lovely wife was doing, and he replied, “It’s a fucking disaster, I’ll tell you about it afterward.” We went upstairs and fucked, and it was an angry fuck–so obviously so that even Maxiums and S commented on it later.
We ended up in the hot tub later, just the two of us, and he talked about what was going on. He said his wife wouldn’t talk to him, that something was wrong and she wouldn’t tell him what it was to fix it. He moved out to give her some space and she asked him for a divorce just the night before. He was devastated. He said he’d tried harder in this marriage than in any other relationship and really thought it was the one. He did not want to get a divorce, loved her, and didn’t know what to do. On top of it, he explained troubles he was having with his youngest son, the one who i had watched do his first triathlon years earlier, who was now a teenager. i couldn’t relate, the stories were terrible, troubling, and i listened to him. i told him i just didn’t know to help, but that i was there for him. We talked about how whatever was troubling his wife might not have anything to do with him, that he might not ever know what it was, but that he was a great person and that while this was difficult, he would be okay. We talked about Maximus and me, about how my second divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me, not because i got together with Maximus, but because i learned so much about myself and my strength. We laughed about the story of One Guy watching us at the club and not realizing it was me until he saw me in my boots afterward. And i shared with him that Mountain Man had died a few months prior during a mountain climb. Maximus had joined us in the hot tub for a bit and left us to talk when he realized The Seal needed time to talk with me.
The Seal left after we’d been talking for a couple of hours. We’d ended the conversation with hugs and promises to get together, that he’d come up for a break soon. i was deflated after he left, and sat in the living room with S and Maximus talking about the heartbreak he was going through and how sad we were for him. But i never had any inkling that he was so far gone. He’d talked about plans he had with his son for a triathlon. There was no indication that he was done with life. i texted him the next morning to let him know i was thinking of him and looked forward to him coming up to Seattle. He thanked me.
And then yesterday i saw the obscure post on his Facebook page, one from a friend that seemed like a “I’m pissed off at you for doing this, why didn’t you tell me what was really going on?” and i knew something horrible had happened. i told Maximus and he hoped my gut feeling was wrong, but that my gut feelings were usually right. i texted The Seal and it didn’t go through with iMessage, i had to force it to go as a text, meaning his phone was offline. i messaged his friend who posted on Facebook and she confirmed that he had ended his life the night before, that his estranged wife and her friend found him in his car in his apartment parking lot.
i was devastated, sucker-punched. i collapsed on the stairs on my way to Maximus and howled, sobbed as He held me. How did i miss this? Why did he do this? i never saw it coming. Why didn’t he tell me? The past two weeks of his Facebook page had been pictures he’d posted of himself climbing at a climbing gym for meditation, yoga for a happy place, a concert…but then a final post of a YouTube video of Bill Withers, “Ain’t no Sunshine,” apparently shortly before it happened.
It was a hard day. i miss my friend. i wish i had known. But i didn’t. i don’t think he wanted me to. And that’s something i’m learning, that we don’t always know what’s going on with someone, that they share with you what they want you to know and hold back the things they don’t. He was strong, a retired Navy SEAL, an Ironman, but this was something stronger than he could endure, something he couldn’t control. i will never know why, i just know that he is out of whatever pain he was facing.
i am sharing this because i hurt and i need to heal. And i am sharing this in hopes that it can help someone, someone who feels lost, who hasn’t shared their pain.
Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 or text 838255
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 (yes, the same number)