July 2001

Hello support group, my name is Nic and I'm a fish.

Now, not just any fish, but a very special fish not many of you have seen before. Want to know a secret? I live on the LAND. Yes, I'm a fish-out-of-water! A real jewel! I don't belong with the other fishes in the sea because I was raised differently and have matured in a very different manner, although as you'll come to learn I'm not proud of it, you'll find my story fascinating still. And just, my dear readers, what do you think is so interesting about what I have to say? Is it because I'm gay and as your predicting this little transcript of a hand spasm I call journalism is nothing short of a mild variation on an old tale told here amongst these pages? I doubt it.

This story is different because I feel I'm one of the most misunderstood but privileged of our kind. Let me tell you about it. As I grew up from an adolescent to an older teenager in the bowels of a southern state (Hint: Oil & Cowboy hats) I began to feel I was a bit different then everyone else. No, it's not because I had feelings for the boy next door, not because I had a high voice or a limp wrist & liked show tunes, not because I felt like the world was against me so I sought the company of others like me, and certainly not because of an affinity for pink & rainbow patterns. Matter of fact, all quite the opposite.

I perhaps once had a boyhood crush, but it was shot down as I grew wiser, I wasn't the kind of kid who's homosexual roots stemmed from a fascination with a "Show Me Yours & I'll Show you Mine" game I had ages ago, rather I dwelt on why I had turned them all down. Sure I enjoy the fact I have some life in my voice (drama training) and it may be a bit high on giddy occasions, but as with moods it'll settle down naturally, and to top it off I never once caught myself swinging my hand by the bearings of my wrist like I was trying to smooth out an imaginary pile of whip cream. And I HATE pride colors.

I'm rather different because I come from a very odd set of circumstances surrounding my sexual and personal philosophies. I began as being highly intelligent, (no manner of insult, but may 'everyone else' now reside as a term for my peers as a student in high school) I looked for the loop holes in the ways of everyone's thinking, as I speak now if I had the inclination to go to college I'd probably have become a brilliant psychologist, but I spent a lot of my time trying to figure other people out, putting questions about myself on the back burner so I could work on breaking down my fellow students and what few I could call my friends.

This little hobby coupled with escapist fantasies of becoming a musician occupied my time till I tried my hand at acting for the school drama squad, after that, it was all about oral interpretation. I thought I was really great at it until so many people critiqued me right into retirement with comments of "too soft", and "needs expression". I thought a summer at a drama camp would help vastly but the tips I picked up there were frowned upon by my old-school drama teacher and only 6 months later I was kicked off the squad for being one of three people out a squad of fifty who went to a TFA (Texas Forensics Association) qualifier (tournament to determine who's "State" Material and who sucks eggs.).

I made it all the way to finals in my event: Poetry, the one thing that I had grown to love in my artistic pursuits from many hours of reading Ginsberg & Morrison over and over late into the nights, and could have taken a big trophy home when I lost for "abusive language", what I might then have called "doing the piece justice" got me removed from the team and my love affair with the group mentality was dead. I sunk into depression. I was unhappy and I wanted a Boyfriend, I wanted someone to tell me I wasn't wrong and I had great ideas, someone who could love me for all the things I lacked that the other boys had.

A few months later I would come out to a squad member, a rather adorable little kid named Chris whom I thought "might be", but "Wasn't", and aside from being humiliated I tried for the longest time to figure out why the drama squads resident Bitch, Jessie, was then being so nice to me all of a sudden. This had happened before, a year before, when I had come out to a friend whom I thought I could trust because of how he prided in having an open mind. Yeah sure, about as open as a bank after 5. That one stopped talking to me as well. That so called friend outed me to a few people whom I still don't know the identities of. Wondering still how I'm different, let me tell you. Rewind.

Not long before but surely after my trip to Amarillo for the speech camp, I began to pursue "Darker" thoughts. I had long an affinity for black clothing & bizarre thought, but once I had descended from the pillars of anonymity and stuck out in a crowd with black boots, multi- colored hair and band shirts far too obscure to fathom, a love of books and a complete disinterest in social functions ( yes, I avoided parties too) I could easily have become a target for the all too familiar bigots and slanderous voices bouncing about in my school, but yet I was left untouched by the bullies, I'd never been in a scuffle with anyone in school or out of school, the word 'fag' only resonated from the mouths of morons who I could easily plow down with upper thinking tactics like "flipping the bird" and the rarely used "not say anything and let them think what they'd like". Worked for me.

I didn't have the slightest whim to stand up for myself, I naturally never admitted to but a few I was actually gay but then I always denied it, for this was the south, a cliché can stand out better then day glow paint. Being a guy and standing around with a bunch of girls you had NO shady thoughts about was one factor, dressing the part was another: in that department I was never suspected. Then there's the attitude, since I never talked to anyone I was both a social misfit and gay, but as far as misunderstood goes, I was assumed to be what I was to hear the most from the few sympathetic voices I knew: "Freak."

Not "Fag bait" or "carpet licker" or whatever verbal slang's likely shucked at the readers of this such site. I may have a different color wool, but I was still considered a sheep. I remained closeted till senior year when a lesbian with a VERY big mouth used me as a center piece for conversations, then I ultimately began to understand what was wrong with the world. But let me go back to October of this same year.

I wielded the power of the Internet to find gay teen message boards and sites, one of which was this, Oasis, and several others, of which included Tiger and Bear (now with an impossible new server). I cruised T&B to look for someone, ANYONE, who I could make contact with, and in my searches I found the love of my life, Kyle. I could write pages and pages of stories of what went on those following months which led to almost two years, but in short hand we found a natural bond (accentuated with new age beliefs on his behalf that things happen for a purpose, which I never doubted for a moment ) we talked online for ages and ages, wrote one another emails, even phoned several times... things led up to a point when he said we just HAD to get together, and I was at full attention.

I took a job and saved money to visit him at a reserved spot in rural Pennsylvania. We bonded and drew love from one another like grass in the sunshine. We held each other for a long time, we kissed with an unheard of fury and passion, it was all sincere too. We even had our first spat over a rye comment about Goths that led me to take a stroll out the door and watch the moon. I was told a few minutes later by our gracious host that he was upstairs crying on the bed. I was so ashamed of myself I went back up and made up with him, trying to explain what had possessed me to do that. We went outside later the next night and watched the sunrise, laying in one another's' arms. Time drew to a close and we had to part ways, at least for a while. And so, I returned home with new energy and life to me. I felt whole, and I was curious. What were others like? I would NEVER betray Kyle's trust, so I simply wanted to meet some new people, which I later found to be a horrible mistake.

Upon returning home august of 2000 and starting school as a senior I was introduced by the loud mouthed lesbian (who assumed that my trip was simply sexual liaison & nothing serious, a fact I wanted to convey so badly but never could.) to a very nice kid a year behind me who you could say was "cool" with everyone. I guess I was the exception because I scared him away or something, I had only gotten two phone calls from him, the last of which rung in my mind because he made it clear that he wasn't gay, but BI, and he actually liked girls. "later nic, I've got to get ready to go to the mall. Bye". Click. He would talk to me on a daily basis but that was about it. Now don't assume there was something wrong with me that frightened him off. I now have a slender face, cat like green eyes, a frame fit to serve the gods and a very calming air about me. I was always being looked at, but never the right people.

The next person who stands out in my mind is a person who worked at a separate branch of a store I worked for once here in town. Since I had friends who had transferred there, I had a perfectly good excuse to go there once in awhile to hang, but when one of the ones I didn't know started talking to me in an oddly personal way which led to me giving him a ride, he revealed he liked me. Now I was totally turned off because he was fat & wore a style of glasses I wouldn't be caught dead near, plus he thought our meeting was 'scripted in the stars' or some bullshit like that. Did he misread? What about the part when I dump him on his ass and run away?

No, he didn't catch on, he was mistaking my patience with some absurd form of acceptance and from that point on he would make it a point to visit My store across town and call me, dreaming about 'a time when we can..." if you know what I mean. Nothing happened and thankfully I haven't seen him since. And because of my experience with these gay people with the firm exception of Kyle, I wish I was straight. There's no hope in this, I better stock up on Vaseline and a book of soft-core, I'm not going a-n-y-w-h-e-r-e for awhile. At least, until October.

Through our talks, Kyle and I had formed a real bond and we figured the next logical step was for me to move to Pennsylvania and set up house with him while he goes to school. I tried in vain to save the cash to do this, but I had a car wreck which put me behind financially, then of course a job that I had taken for the express purpose of saving money was barely putting out. I worked so hard at that job, I came in for employees that didn't, I stayed longer without question, I did everything I was asked without being asked and for awhile the boss thought I was fantastic. Then came the raise. I was ushered into the bosses office with a review form waiting for me: he said I was always on time, I did a great job and I was the model employee. I was awarded a 13 cent raise. Now I would get a lofty 5.28. I was outraged.

And from then on after the situation at work started getting bad, I started getting complaints from customers (whom I couldn't spare in an opportunity to make feel stupid because they always thought we were hiding copies of out-of-stock new releases behind the counter and with the guilty thought of turning into an answering machine played in my head, I could only manage to try and make it clear to them what the course of the situation was: "Do you see that empty shelf, it USED to be there, now its not and no I don't have any copies, I really could do without seeing Vertical Limit..."), my employment was threatened by short drawers (a computer glitch so infinitely ridiculous that alone put me into pissed off mode). Aside from that, I began questioning my bosses judgment and voiced my opinions regularly about what I thought was so screwed up about the job, how I was first being cut short on hours which in turn went to the girl who never showed up and so I was usually roused out of bed in the evening to come fill in for her. Then there were the store inventories: no, they're nothing to shake a stick at, you only have to scan and take stock of some 4000 videos.

That wasn't a problem, the problem was that I was told I would be staying late two hours before we closed and my mother would be on the way expecting to pick me up at the normal time (remember, my car was in the shop, I had lost control of when I could come and go). All I could do was tell Kyle how bad it was for me and that somehow I would make good on my promise to be there when I said I would, but he had problems of his own. His family was poor, his father was (and still is) having heart complications, there were the many factors standing against us in the odds that I could successfully "leave the nest" and set up shop in an unknown place with a dead economy and dazzle both a landlord and an insurance company with money I was doubting I could make with what service industry jobs I could manage to get there, if any. I would try reassuring Kyle that I had a far grander plan in store, one of which was that I would start up a band with my musical training and talents and gig around the state, hoping to make it big.

Trying to explain such things to him was fruitless, he came from an unstable background and wanted security, stability. He was heading to a local college to get schooled in the arts of book editor-ship, I cheered him on, but he wasn't too keen with my half of the bread loaf. He didn't think I could make it as a musician and would fail trying, and this coupled with some insecurities of doubt, he wanted to put "us" on hold for awhile, perhaps we would meet again someday, but he wasn't prepared for a relationship. He told me this over icq one night, adding that telling me this was breaking his heart and was crying as he, my only love, typed the words of release to me, his only love as well.

I told him I would change for him, I would stop chasing my fancies and be a REAL part of society, just for him. But no, he told me not to change, and with all the finality one could muster with a break up, he symbolically sealed our fate and went off- line. I was left randomly typing lyrics I remembered from a Cure song I knew well and watched often on a concert video called Trust, "I love you more then I could say, why can't you just believe?" where the words. His name went blood red in contrast with the vibrant green of the other icq chatters whom I had been ignoring to hear my angel speak with all the words of love in the universe and he was then gone. I wasn't really as upset as I had sounded in my plea's because I knew this would happen. We both did. It was spelled out in the stars, literally.

We both had our Tarot read the summer before during our time together. Two separate readings with two people came back with the same answer: in the cards of the tarot you have a medium place down a set of cards in a specific pattern, usually the pattern is meant to better explain the cards if you were specifically after answers to questions of love or money, wisdom and knowledge or worse, fate. The cards read to us like the forming of raindrops: we knew who we loved, but something difficult would happen, no matter the choice though, in time, everything will come out fine. So once the screen of my monitor, the window to my soul was turned off, I took a walk outside, much like the same walk I took when he had professed his love of me in a poem he had sent me long ago, and I thought. I thought for a good long while.

I decided to continue with my plans to become a performing artist after I had met an idol of mine on an out of state trip, Gary Numan, who encouraged me to chase my dream, and with thoughts on the draft table of finding Kylie one day and winning him back from the hum drum of the norm, I'm more confident then ever now. I have a date in mind of when, but unlike most everything else that ever crossed my mind that I unquestionably revealed to him, this will remain a secret. Not so much a secret as that it'll be once I square away my money troubles and find it a comfortable time for him to share his sweet, dear little heart with someone. I hope I can prove to him how much I love him and that I would do anything on this earth to make him believe. Thoughts of David Bowie as the goblin king of The Labyrinth come to mind when he tells Sarah how he'd turn the world upside down for her, change time and reality, "All... For... YOU!" his voice echo's in my mind.

So as I write this now, I haven't heard but two words from him and I feel only something very desperate and bold will grab his attention now, I'm hoping an advanced reading of this article and a better understanding of how much our separation hurts will do it.



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