Troy N. Diggs
A couple of nights ago, I was doing some work on the Web when I stopped by the home page of my old college, Lyon College. Lyon is a small (VERY small) liberal arts college in Batesville, AR. I won't get into the specifics of why I left and why I dislike the school here, but I will throw this stat out: they have a very bad retention rate.
Anyhow, I was reading an article and saw the name of my ex-roommate mentioned. Since most of you don't have any clue as to the significance of this, let me explain... the day I met him, I fell for him. Hard. Very hard. Hey, I was 17 at the time and was going through the coming out process. I realized he was straight and put it out of my mind. No big deal. Late one night a couple of months later, we get to talking, and tells me that at one point in his life, he thought he might be gay. He decided he wasn't (and that should've been a tip off that something was amiss). That evening, we ended up seeing each other naked, and that was about the extent of it. Only thing is, I fell for him again. He basically wrote the whole thing off and didn't speak much to me (other than very small talk) after he moved out that spring and after I left that fall. I wrote a play about it (www.dramex.org) and got over him when I moved to ASU, and that was that. I wrote him a couple of times after I left Lyon (once was to ask if he'd help me with something I was researching for a class at ASU), but to no avail.
Now, though, I'm wondering just what in the world I'd say to him if I saw him. I mean, it's certainly not impossible; after all, he still exists and so do I.
The first thing I thought of saying was "Go to hell."
A little while after I thought that, I realized that it's not exactly the best way to handle a conversation. Sure, it expresses what I'm thinking (after all, he was rather a jerk), but that's not quite how civilized human beings start a conversation.
I thought maybe I could say, "Hey... nice to see you again... how's everything at Lyon... umm hmm... can't believe you're still there... how are your classes going...etc...etc...". I kinda dismissed that one too. I really don't deal in fake niceties that well, you know? I mean, why should I seem like I'm trying to kiss his rear when I'm upset with him?
So, how about "You know, I know we had some rough times in the past, but hey, let's put our differences aside and become friends? Whaddya say?" Is that what I want, though? Doing that would set up a scenario that I'm not too terribly comfortable with; just because I've moved on doesn't mean I want to try being friends with him again.
Then, I realized something. I've matured a hell of a lot since I left Lyon. I'm more comfortable with myself, with my sexuality, and hey, I'm happy. Sure, things could be better, but for now, I'm pretty darned content with the way things are. I don't need to validate my life with him, and the only person I have to worry about is myself.
I still don't know what I'd say to him if I saw him. Actually, I'm not sure if I care anymore. Part of growing up is to learn from your mistakes, move on, and not to dwell on them. The whole business with him is in the past, and it should be left there.