Damon's picture

I met this guy at the coffeeshop last night. He is a senior at a high school in another town near here. So far my gaydar has not developed well enough to say if he is or not but he did stick around to talk to me after I got off.
If full-blown gaydar puts little antennae on you head then I have these little nubs that don't even show through my hair yet.
He had started joking with me as I was serving him a refill on his Coke. Usually I get rather indifferent when people make "tall" jokes because everyone does and I am really kind of sick of listening to them.
He asked what school I went to and if I played basketball. I told him "no" that I played soccer. He said they could really use a guy with my height on the basketball team at his school.
While he was still there after I locked the door, I told him that he was welcome to take his time but I had to lock the door because we were closed.
He looked very solemn unless he was talking to me and then he seemed very animated and funny.
"I better get out of your way," he said, and he stood and paid his bill and I let him out the locked door.
I must have been another fifteen minutes before I was ready to leave myself and went out the back door like I always do. I was a little spooked when I saw someone leaning against my car in the dark parking lot and as I slowly approached the car I saw that it was him. I was still a little wierded out because I thought "where have I seen this scenario before?"
Guy makes friends with patron and get either the shit kicked out of him or robbed or both in the parking lot. ............Well it happens all the time in L.A.
"Hey, I'm sorry to creep you out but I thought you might want to get some coffee or something before you go home.
Against my better judgement I agreed and let him in the passenger side of the car. I suggested Mac Donalds because that is about the only place still open at 9:30 P.M.
On the way he said, "I know this seems sort of wierd but I just had a fight with my dad and I just don't want to go home right now."
He told me that his mom had a stroke a week before and that he and his dad were at odds about bringing her home and taking care of her there as he wanted to do or putting her in a nursing home as his dad wanted to do.
I could relate to that because of my experiences with my dad and our discussion about what was best for him as he was in a terminal state with cancer.
I got some coffee from the drive-thru and parked the car in the Mac Donalds parking lot. We were both quiet as we mixed and spilled sugar and creamer all over the place in the badly lighted parking area.
He asked how my dad was doing and I told him he passed away two years ago.
He was very quiet for a long time not drinking his coffee but just staring out the window. I still had some reservations about how honest his story was but then I noticed his cheek was wet.
I am about as uncomfortable around crying people (especially guys) as Hank Hill on "King of the Hill". It's like Oh no, please don't cry on me now!
I don't really know what that is. I have always been one to hold my emotions at all costs and genuinely feared those people that would cuddle me at my dad's funeral. "I'm not crying. Don't touch me!"
I didnt cry at my dad's funeral. I can't say that much after I was alone in my own room, but to allow my younger brothers to see my emotions would have been unbearable for me. Now I was in a situation with one of those people who felt that crying was OK. That it was a normal human emotion, and it's not. Is it?
OK so I'm a hard ass. I'm not really, it is just that there are times I fear if I ever let all my emotions go they would go on for ever and we simply can't have that. Now can we?
He smiled and wiped his tears from his face. "Sorry," he said.
He had dark hair and looked as if he could be half asian and half European. He was thin and maybe 5' 9" tall.
"Did you walk all they way down here to Casper? I said.
"No, I took the bus." he answered.
The buses stopped running at 10:00 and it was like five 'till ten. I knew that I would have to offer to take him home.
"I love my mom but she doesn't even recognize me anymore," he said. "And me and my dad are fighting all the time."
His voice grew more shrill as his emotions took over again.
I had never done anything like this before but I put my hand on the back of his neck and slowly massaged the base of his head. He didn't pull away and he seemed to snap out of his sorrow for a quick moment touching my knee, he siad, "You're a cool guy for listening and putting up with this bull shit."
He looked at my car clock just as it blinked off. "I gotta go," he said.
"The buses are done for the night," I said.
"The buses stop running at ten," I told him. "I'll drive you home."
He opened the car door and started to slide out.
"Jerry, I'll take you,OK," I said.
"No dude, It's not that far," he said. "Thanks for the coffee though and you know, thanks."
I finally convinced him to let me drive him home so we headed up Park St. and turned right on River Rd. and drove for about six miles. I couldn't believe he was going to walk all that way in the dark. If there is one thing I have not gotten used to yet about the rural areas of Wyoming, it is the dark two lane roads between towns and the occasional loose cow or horse that would suddenly appear out of nowhere and scare the hell out of you. Not to mention the stories of Bigfoot and all the things that go GRRRRR in the night up here. Hey, I'm a city boy, OK!.
As we got into the small town he asked me to pull into a driveway where there was a building with only dim lights showing through some thin curtains in the windows.
"She's there," he said.
"Your mom?" I asked.
He nodded. "I'll walk from here. It's just around the corner there to my house. I hope my dad's asleep."
He thanked me again and told me he'd see me at the coffeeshop. I felt sad for him and all the way home I thought about him. I could still feel the place on my knee where he touched me. I wondered if he coulkd still feel the place I held his neck.
I felt something else too but I am not sure exactly what it was. It was the kind of feeling you have when you are homesick, really desparate for something that you just can't put your finger on.
I have always believed that there is a reason for everything. I know that's all left over from my God training but it seems trues sometimes. I thought about the days when we knew my dad was going to die soon. I remember that I wondered then, how other kids got through these things. I was only thirteen and I had one really close friend, Richard, he was just a kid that lived down the street from us but he was there for me. It was because his mom had died when he was 10 and he knew what was coming for me. He saw me cry and he didn't try to make me stop, he just said, "You'll stop. You won't ever forget your dad but it won't hurt so bad after a while."
Funny, I made him promise to never tell anyone he saw me cry. As far as I know he never did.