Very hard to excerpt. It’s just such a wonderful story, and so wonderfully written by the NYT’s Paula Schwartz. Read this excerpt, then go read the entire thing.
“It became clear we had to have a conversation as to what we were doing,” Mr. Jackson said.
When he walked Mr. Roth home, he said they should date.
“It’s complicated,” was Mr. Roth’s response.
“That’s all he said,” Mr. Jackson remembered. “He didn’t say anything else but ‘It’s complicated.’ And I knew. I thought, I’m 10 years older, I’d just come out of a 15-year relationship, and I have a 3-year-old son, Jackson, and I didn’t say any of that. All I said was, ‘It’s worth it.’ ”
For nearly a half-hour on the street they went back and forth, with Mr. Roth saying, “It’s complicated,” and Mr. Jackson replying, “It’s worth it.”
Finally Mr. Roth said: “You have a son. We’ll get together, you and your son, and I’m going to fall in love with this child, and he will fall in love with me, and then we will break up, and then what happens?”
Mr. Jackson said, “Why are you thinking of how to get out before you get in?”
Mr. Roth offered this explanation later: “It never occurred to me that not ending was one of the choices, because I had never had a relationship that didn’t end.”