Author's note: Posted here is Chapter 2 of 2 complete chapters. 3 is not yet ready and won't be until after spring break (classes have me too busy). It ends a bit abruptly, as it is meant to transition quickly into the third chapter. For clarity, in Chapter 2 G is a guy and so is J. I left out names but male names should be substituted. Chapter 1 has not been posted in Oasis.

CHAPTER II -- "Foundations"

By Paul Thomas Morris

The next two years proved to be the foundations upon which the rest of my life would shape. Things progressed in my life that stand strong with me even as I write -- things that I would never have thought of myself before. I worked more diligently in school than ever before. I started having emotions I never thought possible. I was at an all time high in respects to my past. I had friends, I indulged in social activity beyond my imagination, and I established grades in school I thought to be unattainable.

I owe the establishment of all of this during those two years to my friends, particularly G and J. The majority of the development involved G's strong influence, charm, and intellect. For as our friendship rounded out, I too grew.

Naturally the friendship enriched my life with material enhancements. G became somewhat of a father and a brother to me. We went on camping trips together, we helped each other through both of our proms. But in life, material existence is so superficial. The physical experiences come and pass us by, only to leave residual impressions in our minds--memories.

The memories -- these are what make me what I am. I exist as a house does upon its foundation, my foundation being my memories. My house is my mind -- my emotions, my compassion, my love, and the feelings others give to me. G was all of this to me. While we had such a solid mental understanding of each other.

As with the development of any friendship, though, we had our ups and downs. I am a person of high demands. I am selfish, I like attention, and I tend to want my way. It took me a year of G's extreme 'down-to-earthness' before I actually calmed my irrational and unjustified insecurities and needs. Perhaps this is why opposites attract. If I ever fell for someone too much like me, we'd drive each other insane. Rather, developing strong bonds with a contrasting personality type moderates couples and allows for growth. I caught myself constantly aspiring to soften my needs and emotions and sharpen my grades and skills.

As I aspired for such change in myself, many people surely saw me transcend from a cold, mediocre person into an ambitious, warm, and compassionate friend and confidante. I too watched myself make this passage. In all respects, I evolved--I shifted from one end of a personality type to another. However, with all transitions comes confusion and indecision. I was not sure of where I was going. I kept keeping touch with my past. I did not want to toss everything aside, nor did I want to move so fast as to scare myself or fall. My changes began to feel out of control. My friendship started escalating beyond what I considered to be a friendship. I felt love -- strong passionate feelings -- for a 'friend'. This was not right. What's worse, this friend was of my gender.

What do you do when your entire past becomes threatened by one aspect of the present? I did what I saw best: I covered up my feelings. I pretended, I hid, and I denied. I lived a double life. In my mind, I was falling in love with an impossible thought. In the eyes of my friends I was perfectly normal. And even in mine own eyes--I rationalized my feelings and underestimated them; I thought nothing was out of the ordinary myself.

I'm becoming repetitive; I hate redundancy. Ricky is coming over now so that we can go shopping. Who knows what chapter Ricky will fall into. He's quite a character though; you'll see when I get the next 2 or three chapters completed. It's things like this, though, that break up the continuity of a flow of thoughts; and thus, things become garbled, repetitive, and sometimes unclear.

But then again, this period of my life was intertwined in these characteristics. Perhaps this is why this chapter is so awkward. I was garbled. My feelings were confused, and my thoughts were trapped. I became redundant--I was stuck on the same old techniques and beliefs that no longer applied to me. And, to say the least, this period of my life was very unclear.

Even in retrospect I still have trouble fitting things together. Why did I ever break down crying in front of my English teacher? Who was she and what did she know? What did she see in me, and how did she figure out what I was feeling? My first trusted confidante, this woman served as a turning point for me. She directly changed my interactions with my family and with G.


Paul Thomas Morris, 20, is a junior at the University of Georgia where he is a computer science major. He has a homepage (where chapter one is posted as well) at http://ilinks.net/~pmorris. Hobbies include classical music, computers, writing, and performing (trombone). He can be reached at pmorris@ilinks.net


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