[oasis] [columns]


December 1996

I am stressed out.

This is nothing unusual, but I know things are bad because I almost lost it in Vons today. I went to Vons because I had to get peanut butter and chicken. I was already stressed because I didn't really need peanut butter. But I needed chicken and since I was going to the store I just decided to need peanut butter as well. However, I didn't really need chicken either. That is, I wouldn't have needed chicken if one of my brain-dead roommates hadn't forgotten about the beer he put in the freezer and if that bottle of beer hadn't decided to explode and soak my freezer-wrapped chicken in a popsicle beer marinade. But it did happen. So I did need chicken.

With vile thoughts towards my under-aged-but-drinking-constantly-anyway roommate, I crossed the street in front of my apartment complex and made my way into the grocery store. The first thing I saw was a sign saying that the store will be closing forever this Friday. This makes my life harder because after Friday I won't have a grocery store across the street. So I will have to walk a couple of blocks to Lucky's. While Lucky's is no doubt a finer store, it is farther away. Yes, it was wonderful luck that I didn't get into the dorms and had to get an apartment. But it sucks that my parents won't let me have my car which makes simple things like shopping so much more difficult.

By the time I finally chose a slimy package of chicken breasts and made my way to the "assorted toast spreads" isle, I was quite annoyed at the whole world. But the selection of peanut butter is what made me almost loose it. Not only are there 8 brands to choose from, there are at least that many sub-types to get. Did I want chunky? Super chunky? Honey roasted? Smooth 'n creamy? Super honey roasted extra smooth and chunky with caramel swirls? It was all just too much for me. All I wanted was peanut butter. "Why does it all have to be so damn difficult?" I meekly whimpered and decided to just skip the PB and buy my chicken before I started to cry.

I'm not usually like this. As I said before, I'm a little stressed out. Tomorrow at 7am I have to dial up the CalPoly "capture" registration system and pray to whatever God there may be that I can get through the busy signals before my 8 o'clock class. Its not like it matters anyway. My registration priority is so low that I have to crash all but 2 of my classes next quarter.

Choosing what classes to take is what started all of this stress. I'm currently a biology major but the biology class I'm in right now is going to be my last biology class! I'm thinking of changing to biochemistry with a minor in English. Next quarter: 19 units. Computer science, English, calculus, chemistry, PE weight lifting, and journalism. I can do it. No problem. Yeah, right!

Sounds like fun, huh? I've got absolutely no clue what I want to do with my life. I don't even know what I'm doing at CalPoly.

Well, that's not entirely true. I'm at CalPoly because I didn't want to go to UC Davis and couldn't wait until spring semester to start at UC Berkeley (didn't get accepted to start in fall '96, and couldn't stand to stay at home until January). I only applied to 3 schools. It was kind of tragic, actually. All my life everyone told me I was going to college. But the whole gay issue made me into such a suicidal, pessimistic youth that I really thought I would die of sorrow before actually graduating high school. So I never thought about the future. Then suddenly I was a senior and it was November and oh-mi-gosh, time to send out applications. I thought, "Well, OK, I liked my 10th grade biology teacher so I'll be a biology major! And lets see... Mom says UC Davis is nice, and CalPoly is at the beach, and Berkeley is near San Francisco. Sounds good!" So that's that and here I am. In beautiful San Luis Obispo, California enjoying a constantly sunny and 76 degree climate, surrounded by hordes of beautifully tanned hunks, sharing an apartment with 3 strangers, and making new friends.

The sun is getting old. The hunks are all straight. My roommates are starting to get on my nerves. My friends aren't as good what I had at home.

I know, I know. Play the violins, I'll cry you a river. Everyone goes through this their first time away from home. But it seems that this past week everything has hit me and its starting to wear me down.

I was talking to my best friend, Becca, last weekend. She's still back at home in Clovis. I'm extremely jealous of her: she's got a boyfriend and she's very happy. I miss that feeling.

Here in San Luis Obispo, there is a good sized gay population. Its huge compared to where I used to live. I'm involved in the campus GLBU (gays, lesbians, and bisexuals united) so I have met a lot of people and I'm meeting lots of people outside of school as well. Sadly, anyone that I find attractive at all is much older than I am. Is it wrong to set 23 as the maximum age of someone I will date? I'm only 18. Even 23 is a good 5 years my senior.

Becca says I'm too picky. There is some truth to that, but I can't help it. I find a certain type of person attractive and will only date someone who meets those standards. I can't help it. Those are my tastes. I feel as though I would be lowering my standards and trying to make something out of nothing. And that catches up eventually.

So, I'm single. And I think it really sucks. I miss the closeness; physical as well as intellectual. I've been thinking a lot about my first (and only) relationship. In fact, I met him through Oasis. But both of us screwed up pretty badly by trying to go too fast. I think we both wanted a "first time" and it clouded our judgment. It's too bad that things didn't work out and the hurt feelings, etc. But I'm glad I got to experience that before I left for the "real" world. And luckily, we are on speaking terms and have become friends again.

My friends just stopped by. We are planning a surprise party for our friend who just turned 18. On Friday everyone is going to come over and make dinner (they are all so jealous that I have a kitchen, and they live in cell-like dorm rooms!). It should be a lot of fun. And of course we are going to get drunk.

Wow, I've changed a lot since I've been here. Before I got to college I had never had more than a sip of my parents drinks. Don't get me wrong: I'm no boozer! I've just discovered the pleasures of getting a little "tipsy" and having a good time. I used to be so pure!

My friend Matt is all excited about getting drunk. Matt is an interesting case. He's into the Gap, loves to get dressed, loves to decorate, has all female friends; the boy is just a flaming queen. The big joke around my friends is that everyone knows he is gay, we are just waiting for him to realize it. Sadly, he thinks he is straight. But he is fascinated by my lifestyle and is always asking me "Oh, do you think he's cute? Would you go for him?" - he's like a little kid. He's cute, too. But luckily I don't find him all that attractive. More annoying than anything else, really. I have decided the best way to deal with the situation is just be a positive gay role model for him and if he ever decides to deal with his sexuality, he can feel comfortable talking to me about it. I don't want to pressure him at all. No one needs that.

But what scares me is that I don't want to get drunk around him and accidentally say or do something that I will regret in the morning. I bite my tongue a lot when he is around and I'm afraid the alcohol will just loosen me right up! Hmm· It will be interesting to see what happens.

-- I bleached my hair before coming to school here, and it looked really cool. But after 2 months and a few haircuts it was starting to look, well, splotchy. "Calico", Matt called it. I agreed, so last weekend I dyed it one color: Natural Instincts #28, Nutmeg. In other words, its dark brown like it should be.

I don't like it.

I miss having funky hair and people looking at me. It was nice. Am I so insecure that my identity rests in my hair color? Well, I guess. So after all the damaged stuff grows out I'm going to frost it again (probably over winter break). I'm so cool!

Hmm· It seems that my first Oasis article is a bunch of whining and complaining about the hardships of my life. I hope that whoever takes the time to read this can get something out of it. I'm not sure what, though. I just know that when I was younger and trying to deal with my feelings I wish I had someone that I could have talked to about it. I felt so alone, etc. But I've come such a long way. Now I talk about being gay as if its nothing more than hair color. This was not always the case. Hopefully that shows that things get better and people can turn out as normal as anyone else. That is something to address in future writings, I suppose.

Until then!

©1996 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.