Almost a week after Mother's Day my dad had the talk with me that my brother Michael had mentioned would be happening, but they way his did it made for a good time.
Right around dinner time a pizza was delivered and instead of eating in our house we ate in my bedroom above the garage. That was my first hint that dad really wanted to talk to me, the second hint was that my mom wasn't there. She was out showing a property and would stop somewhere to eat.
I'm not sure how people are going to take this, but my parents let me drink on a regular basis, usually watered down wine or beer. Mostly it happens on weekends, but sometimes during the week too. They don't want me to go off to college and suddenly discover alcohol, and really it doesn't do anything to me. Just hope y'all can understand that?
With the pizza we had Czech beer, and it was a good combo. The pizza was great,a five meat and three cheese one that my dad calls "Man Food". Honestly we devoured it pretty quickly!
I knew things were going to get serious when dad opened another beer, and he sat next to me on my loveseat and put his arm around me and pulled me in tight, like he always does. He kicked his shoes up and we propped our feet up on the ottoman, and we didn't say anything for a while.
I thought that maybe this wasn't the right time for the talk I knew was coming, but I was wrong. He spoke to me slowly, almost like he was trying to get the words right.
"You know your mother and I love you, right?"
I couldn't believe he'd say that.
"I know you do, I love y'all even more!"
Dad laughed and smiled at that.
He told me that Michael's coming out knocked them off their feet, that they never saw it coming. He asked me how I felt about that, and I told him I was fine with it, and then he said that of course I would be.
He was real quiet for a while, I knew something serious was going to come next.
"You mother and I have suspected you might be gay for a while...we both saw you doing...things...with your friend Tommy. We weren't sure what to do? Should we talk to you? Or just let it go?"
I put my head down and dad pulled me into him.
"When you gave that speech it was like you were telling us, but in your own way?"
I started crying, then we both stood up and hugged. I was crying really hard at times, and dad just held me tighter.
He told me he wanted to tell me something that he didn't think he ever would, and that stopped my tears. We sat on the loveseat again, and he pulled out a picture and handed it to me.
It was a snapshot of my dad and his oldest and best friend Ben, taken at a Boy Scout function because they were both in their uniforms. I had never seen this picture before, and there was something about it that caught my attention.
Ben was sitting a table eating and my dad had his arms wrapped tightly around his chest, hugging him from behind like a boy would hug his girlfriend.
I wasn't ready for what he told me.
"Ben and I were always real close...then we got to your age...and...we had all these new feelings...desires...we didn't really understand it...girls wouldn't even look at us back then..."
"You and Ben..."
I had to force the words out.
"...were like me and Colin, weren't you?"
"Son...it just happened one day...all those feelings...we were home alone...it was something we both needed...we kept doing things together, until we graduated."
I knew the rest of the story.
"Your mother swept me off my feet!"
I asked his if he ever thought about those times with Ben, and then quickly apologized for my question. It took him a long time to answer.
"Son, you never forget your first love."
I thought this was going to be different, that it would be him asking me about my feelings, not him spilling a deep secret.
There was more. Dad told me that Ben was getting married on the Fourth Of July weekend, and that we had been invited to his wedding in California.
"So he turned out like you?, I asked.
Dad shook his head.
"No he didn't. He's marrying a man, they've been together a long time."
We didn't say anything for a long time, then dad broke the silence.
"Colin's mother knows about you two, she's taking it hard. She's worried that you're going to break Colin's heart or hurt him, but I know you won't do that. You mother and I have spent some time with her, talking things over. It's just going to take her some time."
Dad told me it was getting late, and he stood up and hugged me. I didn't want to let go. He opened the door, then told me that he liked my journals on here, that he thought they were well written.
I stared at him, my jaw almost hitting the floor. He told me that he needed to use my computer one day, and I had left this site's page open to one of my journals.
Everything's will be fine son, don't worry, he told me as he closed the door behind him.
You know what?
I think he's right.