January 2000

Hello Oasis readers and welcome to my first column. I was like you once, just READING Oasis and placing very little faith on the fact that I myself would ever be writing one. So here it is. Here I am. Get ready!

Mike's brief tour of the realm outside of the closet

Well, I apologize if this may run-on for too long, this is basically a summary of my freshman year. I was nervous upon entering High School. As I assume all freshmen are. I was still coming to terms with my homosexuality. I had told one friend before, but I pretty much barely knew her and she lived pretty far away (which were probably main reasons why I decided to tell her in the end). And we lost touch over the beginning of the year. Which was okay for me. I was bound for better friends during High School anyway, I thought. Still, I don't think I'll ever forget her.

Part of my anticipation of High School was due to the Creative Writing course I was going to take. It was my aspiration at the time to become a writer. It was in this class that I would meet the person that would TOTALLY change my entire life. I would probably have... well, I really don't want to think of what might have happened to me...

Her name was... well, let's say her name was Tes. But her real name was MUCH more unique. Me, her and two other guys hung out a lot in that class. But, after the class was over, I thought I'd never see her again. I was wrong. Fate had dealt a hand in my favor. We met, of all places, in the Principal's Office. And we arranged a little get together after school. And we met at the same place for almost the entire year.

We did all kinds of things. She made me feel so alive. I mean, I was always REALLY inhibited and REALLY timid. I suppose because I didn't want anyone to find out the truth about me. She took me to her plays; she took me to coffee shops. Places I'd never been before and definitely wouldn't have been able to go to before. I can't help but wonder about the things in life I would have missed if not for her.

Now, don't get me wrong. We were JUST friends. But really, really good friends. It had been a saying that gay people had just like, flocked to Tes. A true statement, even though there were only about five or six gay people in the school at the time. And they were all involved in Drama club (hate to say it, but SNL's right in this case). And, y'know, one day, I decided to just blurt it out to her...

"Mike, you really shouldn't joke about those things."

She had a very sad tone in her voice. Like she knew someone that died because they were gay or something. I was so shocked and so scared that I just said, "Okay. Sorry." That really got me down. But why would she say something like that? People don't usually joke about being gay; and I think that if I was straight that I certainly wouldn't. But I wasn't about to ask her why. Lest I reveal myself.

.......wasn't I just going to do that?

Later, after school one day, a group of friends met at Wendy's and one fella, lets call him John, told everyone he was gay. Wow. He gets the freedom and I don't. Later, I would find out he had told Tes before and he was the reason she was so shook up about me saying I was gay. Perfect. Just perfect.

Pretty much from then on, John had stuck to Tes like glue. They had become best friends. Not that I wasn't out of the picture, just that he was always in it, too. I don't think he liked me too much. He would always point it out when I would say something immature and call me a freshman. Yes. I am a freshman. This is how freshmen act. He wasn't cruel, but he wasn't nice, either. One day, I was stranded at Tes' house without a ride. John offered to give me a ride and I accepted. So I figured what the fuck, I had been really wanting to tell SOMEONE. At least I wouldn't be alone. He was pretty excited. "WHAT?!" He kept asking me over and over. I was too scared to say it again, so I didn't. But he dropped me off and gave me his phone number. Next thing you know, I call him and he's telling me he's told Tes over the Internet.

Nonono... he's just said SOMEONE told him they were gay. He hadn't told her WHO just yet. I stopped him just in time. John and I started hanging out. I'd pass up rides with Tes for rides with him. One time, during a half day, we even went with another gay kid (who we told THAT DAY) to downtown and went into this gay bookstore. And... then, one day I wanted to do something so I said "How 'bout the movies?" I had two free tickets, and figured it would kill some time. John said, "Let's go." And we did. Next thing I know, John's hand was rubbing my knee. I asked him what he thought he was doing. "Nothing." he replied. Well... I wasn't about to stop him. Even though I wasn't really attracted to him. I didn't want to lead him on, either. In retrospect, I should have just told him to stop.

We made out a bit later in the evening. But he was worried about what he would tell his parents. I suggested he should tell the truth.

"Oh. Yeah. I'll just tell them I was on a date with my boyfriend."

I should have corrected him. I should have said something like "Hey, that was fun and stuff, but I don't really think of you as a boyfriend. Maybe we shouldn't do that stuff anymore." But. I just sat in silence.

The weeks past, Tes was dropping not-so-subtle hints that she was strongly suspected that I was "Mystery Fag". I wasn't picking up. John was telling me she knew she knew she knew and I totally wouldn't believe it. But I told her anyway. She knew. She was a little upset to the fact that I hadn't told HER first (if you can believe THAT). At that time, Me and John's relationship had gotten a little bit more serious. His parents didn't get home till about two hours after school. So... we... did stuff. I was 14. I was offered the opportunity at WAY too early an age. But still... a lot of mistakes there.

Then, one fateful night, me and John were heading home from a gay coffee shop downtown and I wanted to get a little closer to him in the car and I think I, well... distracted him. We got into an accident. No one was hurt. The bumpers were about the only things damaged. But it scared the HELL out of John and I. His car had to be fixed. So we couldn't see each other much after school. We mostly talked on the phone. But, he had gotten more bitter than he'd used to. You know how I'd said he teased me, but he wasn't cruel? He was getting a little on the cruel side. I had to find out from someone else that his car was fixed. When I asked him for a ride he invited as many people as he could and told me I had to sit in the back. He wouldn't even kiss me. Something he had less than a problem with before. Finally, when everyone was dropped off except me, he told me he wanted to break up with me.

It wasn't the fact that we were breaking up that I was sad. It was the fact that I had put myself in this situation. I had every opportunity to tell him to stop beforehand, that we were going too far. But I never did. Why? Does that make me a "slut"? Towards the end, I looked back, and I don't think we even had anything beyond a physical relationship. I wasn't READY for a physical relationship. I was only fourteen! We told each other we loved each other but I KNOW we didn't even come close! The best should have ever been was friendship.

I never talked to him for the entire year. Half mad at him. Half mad at myself. I would leave Tes' side whenever he'd come walking up, which wasn't as often. He was sure to steer clear of me. I'd-I'd just look at him and feel stupid. One time, Tes and me were at the mall, and he just happened to be there. Well, what are you going to do? Not say hi to your best friend? Not start up a conversation? Of course you are. This wasn't going to be a contest for Tes' friendship. I was quiet the whole time. I wasn't going to start a fight, I wasn't going to make a scene. I just stood there. Quiet.

I told her too. I explained my behavior. It was quite possibly the most I ever could have fit the words "fuck" and "shit" into a sentence in my life. She told me to calm down in a stern voice. And if I would have handled things differently, it probably would have ended the friendship.

"I just... don't think that that stupid relationship should have ever gotten between us. It would have been stupid to say anything to him, because it would just start some bullshit that I honestly don't think anyone needs. You mean too much to me."

We hugged.

And that's basically it. No more huge events really took place that year. John and me still haven't spoken. Somehow I think he's sorry for the whole thing, but I just don't think I'm entirely over it yet. Maybe by the time this column is finished I will. Whoa! That's now!


About the Author
©1995-2000 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.