Here. In My Head.
Well, Thoughtful Reader, it is again four in the morning, and I'm still on the damn computer. I don't really know why I do this -- yes, I am tired, yes, I want to go to bed, yes, I'm rather bored with this whole computing thing -- but nevertheless, I continue my computing into the wee hours of the morning. Strange, huh?
I've done a few things on this computer tonight -- I've been making mp3 files for myself (technology dazzles me), I've been on AOL for a few hours, I spent a couple hours surfing the web -- I've pretty much done everything I can do with this wondrous gray box. But you as you know, the human mind is a pretty amazing thing, and I've been multitasking. I've been clicking and reading things on the screen --- but still thinking about other things in the corner of my mind. And one of those other things is going to be the basis for this month's column.
Have you ever had a crush? I mean, a full-fledged teenage crush. It's a wonderful thing, but a horrible thing at the same time. I mean, the wonderful part is being in love, feeling the thrill that arcs down your spine when you see the object of your affection from across the room. It doesn't matter if he knows you're there, or if he even knows you exist -- just to see him and know that he is real is enough for you. It's the reason people with crushes always drive by their crush's house -- just to see that he's still around, still there. Not stalking. It just makes you feel good to know that you're in love with someone who actually exists close to you -- unlike those superficial crushes on various actors and performers, people you will never have but still like to dream about. A crush on someone who is actually part of your life is heaven.
You might have guessed by now that my column is going to be about a crush I've had. Well, you're partly right. This column is about the crush. The crush to end all crushes. Quite simply, it was my first.
The first time you fall in love, everything is new to you -- the sounds, the emotions, the way you become conscious only of the heat emanating from his body and you drown out everything else, just concentrating on the feeling of him sitting within inches of your leg. I mean, it's a really wonderful feeling -- a kind of euphoria. Most kids have their first crushes in fourth or fifth grade, for sure by junior high, I guess. Due to the time it took me to accept myself as gay, I didn't have my first real crush until I was a senior in high school.
Sometimes I wish I had come out sooner -- the eventual hurt that a crush causes diminishes over time, and if I had this crush in fifth grade, it would be nothing to me now -- especially since I can't remember details from my childhood worth a damn. But my crush happened late enough in my life that I know I will remember it forever. Which is not exactly a great thing, considering how things went.
Should I tell you the whole story? It's not necessary. I'll describe it in broad strokes. In a bold sort of maneuver for a half-out gay kid, I developed a crush and actually acted on it. No, I didn't seduce him into some remote bed (although believe me, the idea had its merits at the time). I simply told him that I liked him a lot, baring my soul to him.
The awkward part was that he had a girlfriend.
So he wouldn't leave his girlfriend. It went on for months that way, me mooning over the boy and probably looking ridiculous to anyone who had half a clue as to what was going on. I hit on him incessantly. I thought about him constantly. On really hard days I went home, put some Tori on (songs like Putting the Damage On and Cloud on My Tongue, to those of you who are blessed with knowledge of her work), and cried. I was just so upset that he would never be mine when I wanted him to be so much.
But he never wavered in his loyalty to his girlfriend, and I saw him for the last time the night of graduation -- he was a year younger than me and for some reason was helping run the show. It's been eight months since I last saw him -- and I still have feelings for him. They're not as strong as they used to be, no, but I still care a lot for him -- and sometimes I wonder what he's up to, how his final year of school is going, if he's happy -- things like that. To be perfectly honest, the crush started out as some hormonally charged lust, but it's since developed into this wonderful love -- selfless, I believe.
So I've been thinking about this crush for the past few days. Why? Well, last year I signed up to go see the musical Rent with the high school. Today is Tuesday, and the show is on Thursday. And I came to the realization about a week ago that there was a good chance that he would be going to see the same show. So I've been trying to think how I would act around him. I still don't know -- but it's all right, because I found out that he's not going. In a way, this relieves me -- but in another way I'm disappointed. I still love him -- so I really actually want to see him. Don't tell me to just give him a call -- I did enough things that I'm embarrassed about in the course of this crush that any contact to him would probably seem like I was hitting on him. Plus, it would be really difficult to get up the courage after so long. But it would be different if we both happened to be on the same bus going to Rent. We could talk, I could apologize, and I'd finally have some closure in this matter -- because we never did talk about this. It was awkward, and strange -- and wonderful.
I miss you so much.
Anyway, here are some tidbits I wanted to share with the world as a whole. My birthday was March 5 - if you're a fan of my writing, feel free to send me some birthday greetings - and any general comments you'd like to make. I don't get much email from people concerning my columns, and while that's all right, I'd really like to talk to the people who read my columns and see what you think about them - because I will never be able to improve until I get some honest constructive criticism. So, if you've forgotten, I'm email@example.com.
I work in a movie theatre, and this morning I was running the projectors -- and happened to see a trailer for a movie that instantly went on my must-see list. It's called The Object of My Affection, and it stars Jennifer Aniston and *drool* PAUL RUDD! Playing a gay character! I almost shrieked when I saw it -- Paul Rudd is SO my type, and if he were really gay, it would just send happy shivers down my spine. But for now I have to live with him playing a gay character -- and Paul, if you're reading this, and you're gay, PLEASE give me a call. To everyone else who doesn't have a clue who Paul Rudd is, he was Cher's brother in Clueless and Dave Paris in Romeo + Juliet. I also hear that he used to be in the now-defunct prime-time soap opera Sisters. I loved the show, but must've missed him -- so there's another reason for me to be looking forward to college, since they show reruns on Lifetime and I don't have cable. If you still don't have a clue, I've posted a picture onto the web at http://members.aol.com/agelfling/paulrudd.jpg.
To everyone who appreciates good music -- Tori Amos' new album, "from the choirgirl hotel", will be released in the US on May 5. She'll be touring all summer. If any of you go to a Chicago show, be aware that I WILL be there -- maybe if you really love my writing we could talk afterwards.
Oh -- and I got accepted to the University of Illinois, my first choice for college next year. If anyone goes there and also reads my column, give me a buzz and tell me what the gay climate at that school is, OK?
Until next month, Thoughtful Reader, I leave you with a poem I found in an English textbook last year which has been one of my favorites for a long time -- and touches me.
To me he seems like a god
as he sits facing you and
hears you near as you speak
softly and laugh
in a sweet echo that jolts
the heart in my ribs. For now|
as I look at you my voice
is empty and
can say nothing as my tongue
cracks and slender fire is quick
under my skin. My eyes are dead
to light, my ears
pound, and sweat pours over me.
I convulse, paler than grass
and feel my mind slip as I
so close to death
[but must suffer all, being poor.]
English Translation by Willis Barnstone
Late-Breaking News: I now have a web page. Point your browsers at http://members.aol.com/agelfling and look around! Oh - and sign the guestbook!