Michael Reed

April 1997

An Overture of Pain

I've lost everyone I ever wanted to love. When I was five, my best friend was killed by her husband. When I was eight, a grandfather I had just begun to know died of heart disease. When I was eleven, my parents separated, and later divorced. When I was twelve, the man I wanted as a lover hurt me, and then I moved away. That same moment that I moved took me away from my best friend, who I am only beginning to know again. When I was fourteen, I drove my mother away without meaning to. I'm sixteen. My friends now are all simply that. Friends and nothing more. I love my mother, but she will always be afraid that I will do something to hurt the family -- again. I love lorylin, my best friend, but I'm trying not to press because I don't want to scare her away. I'm an only child. I'm gay. I'm afraid, and I feel alone. I've never been able to find a place to fit in with myself. Nothing I have ever tried has brought me closer to knowing WHO I am. And there is no one here to know and understand my pain. No one who will love me independent of having to. Mother. Father. Cousin. Titles with the obligation of love. It's a requirement and a necessity. And so it means less than someone who will love you regardless of who you are to them. Someone who will love you because of who you are to YOU. And for me there is no one like that.

I was baptized a Catholic. Even though I am no longer of that particular faith, I still own and wear a scapular. Because of what it symbolizes. The scapular is a promise "He who dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire." It's a physical symbol of your personal faith in and worship of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. On one panel there is those words. On the other is a picture of a the woman who began the promise. Two months ago when the fact that I cannot change that I am gay blew up in my face, I started to have Panic Attacks. I thought I was going to die every day. I wore the scapular at every moment. I would sit in the bathtub and want to cry, because no one cared about what was happening to me. I tried to tell people how bad I felt but it happened so often that everyone felt powerless, and annoyed, and bothered. I didn't cry; I was too afraid of death. Of what God would think of my being gay. Of the possibility that there was no God and that I would die without having had a single, TRUE lover. I can remember falling to my knees and screaming in my head, as loud as I could, screaming to God to help me. One day, the scapular got wet, and the words and the picture erased. The promise was gone. For a moment, I thought that God had turned his back on me. Shunned me. But then I decided to wear it anyway. They were words written in ink. I had faith written in spirit. To wear a promise that you can see is easy. To wear one that only your soul is able to make out anymore.....that takes courage. Perhaps to the church, the scapular means nothing. To me it means that God has taken me from the path that can be seen. And put me on one of my very own. I may be alone on this Earth, NOW, but I have him eternally. I'm not Catholic. I AM a Christian. I'm also gay. But I know that I was created that way, and that is a comfort even though I have no one to share it with. Perhaps enlightenment takes solitude. But that doesn't change being lonely.

I don't want you to think that I am ignorant to the fact that there are people out there who hurt worse than I, who need help to even live another day. I know that for every pain and depression and ill that has clouded my life -- my path, there is someone with ten times the torment. That is why I'm writing this. I am with this crude wording, attempting to outstretch my hand. I'm alone. Someone out there is too, and is having as hard a time or worse than I am with it. There is no such thing as being alone together. I want to help, and need help myself. I refuse to be alone forever. Maybe I needed it for a time, so that I could figure out who I was, but even God could not bear to be alone. He created mankind. Us. No one deserves to feel as though no one cares, as I sometimes do. Suffering is not what life is about. And not what it will ever be about. A person is hurt and a person dies with every second that ticks by on the clock. Change is constantly reshaping the world, which is forever in transition. But no one can live with that without someone who cares about what happens to them. Maybe I'm selfish for being in so much pain so early, but then maybe I'm not. Someone hurts. So do I.

Michael. (MCR9000@juno.com)

"Is every moment pain?"

Tell me why I sit here;
Why I stand still while others move,
And the Earth turns but not for me-
instead it freezes, lost among a plethora of stars.
Tell me why I sit here, sad,
no shoulder to cry on,
no love to try on,
just hope to die on, and you ask me why I laugh?
Is every moment pain?

Should I cry a glass of the tears I never felt when life ran out on me,
and drink it too, I suppose, being so inclined as to taste my own
saddened sadness as I, neurotic wretch, am in writing here today?

My family struck and stricken by my failure, promise broken like a
shattered window pane, and pain to top it off, has become my life unless
I laugh the hollow humor that exists when nothing else does.

So you ask me why I laugh.
Is every moment pain?

Why am I forced to watch as my life becomes a noteless nothing?
(Not that death is in my mind)
I just want to know the reason,
why I live a life unkind.

Why can't I be a child again, the life that life did steel from me,
And run,
And laugh true laughter,
Play unconcerned and well assured that nothing wrongful can go wrong?

That shining star I might have been, has fallen from the sky. Like an
angel dead, it's broken vow comes alight in light of lightless night,
which does magnify the power of it's falling failure, dead and deathlike
does it stay, in spite of spiteless trying to repair the hapless
happening, my lifeless life that I, neurotic wretch, delight in showing
here today.

You dare to ask me why I laugh!
Is every moment pain?


Michael Reed, 16, of Ohio, can be reached at MCR9000@juno.com.

When asked to describe himself, he said: "Here's what's on my screen saver: "I'm a Writer, a Musician, and a Dreamer. I'm a Lover and a Friend. I'm a Christian. I'm Gay. You tell me: am I a Fag?" That's the question I asked myself not long ago. I do write, quite a bit actually, mostly emotional narratives and poetry (being a romantic at heart), with an Edgar Allen Poe slant to it. Musically, I love anything and everything, except country, and I play the Piano. Some people would say they're a, "Child of the Sixties," or the, "Eighties," but I say I'm a child of dreams -- shadows of the mind that traverse the night like ghost. I've been running most of my life, towards things yet unclear, because I grew up quicker than I grew up, if that makes sense. I love everyone and everything, and I have yet to find a person that I couldn't at least be friends with. (Email me please. Yes, now.) I am a Christian, and my faith becomes stronger with each passing day. I am a six on the Kinsley scale, for those you who would like to know, and the answer to the question above, obviously, is no. And there is not a person in this world for which the answer is yes. I believe strongly in the movement to unify and clarify Gays, especially us, the youth, being the future of our people. Don't ever let a day go by that you aren't proud of being Gay. It's a gift and a blessing, even when it seems like a closing fist. Never give up the fight for our humanity; letting those that would persecute us win would be far too terrible a crime. That having been said, I hope you enjoy the joy, sadness, and madness that I try earnestly to demonstrate with my work. Like the man said, "Who I am is pretty much there..."


--When did "Gay," stop meaning, "Happy"?



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