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Sean Hayes

July 1998

Jesse's Boy

So I wanna tell you about this boy I see at the coffee bar near where I live. I see him around all the time, random places around town. Not the type of guy you'd forget. Nice shoulder length brown hair (though I'm not necessarily a fan of long hair on guys), a pleasantly appealing face, always in big ass bell bottom baggies, a remarkable sense of style. And this guy's one hell of a flamer.

But he's not uppity like your average gayboy. He carries himself with an almost Jackie O-like feminine grace. Checking his teeth and hair in the mirrors along the walls, sitting cross-legged. I don't even know the guy's name. I mean, I guess you can tell I'm the kinda guy who obsesses over stuff, but alas not the type of guy who takes action to convert fantasy to reality. I guess I'm one of the shyest guys you'll ever meet to tell you the truth. I mean I can talk to people pretty well, but they have to be the one to approach me first. Anyway, I'll call this kid Jesse, because the Jesses I've known have always been so good to me.

Jesse's a name that carries no malice. But for every new Jesse comes a bittersweet longing for the Jesses I've known before. Flashback to my high school prom: Lexington High, South Carolina -- just two short years ago but what seems like a lifetime. There I was, resplendent in tuxedo, my hippie date, Tabitha, wearing an obviously homemade gown. The whole evening is a blur to me now -- so many introductions, and slow dancing to songs that weren't quite love songs, and Tabitha singing relentlessly all night long the chorus from Rancid' s "I Want Your Salvation." But Jesse Number One is clear in my mind.

The same pleasant face and longish brown hair, deep green eyes and an uninhibited flamer. I remember him dancing with wild abandon with our school's most notorious fag hag. I remember meeting him outside, how he shook my hand and I almost melted, I didn't want to let him go. And instead of the awkward look away I'd have usually gotten, he gave me a mischievous little smirk and held my eyes for almost a full minute. That hippie chick I went with that night, and hippie chicks everywhere, didn't look quite the same to me after that.

I'd love to say how that this story ends happily, but to tell you the truth, I never got to see Jesse Number One again. He was just a happy memory and a daydream. God knows I tried to call Tabitha to hook us up, but by then she'd moved on to new horizons, and ridiculously assumed I still carried a torch for her. So the bitch ignored me. Until graduation, my mind was a virtual chaos of hopeless confusion. Just when the exciting possibilities of this queer new world had entered my consciousness, the doors of physical reality slammed shut around me. Having no money for college and not the slightest interest in sticking around Lexington, I'd have to move way out to frickin' Boise Idaho to do the college thing with my Mom.

And ya know for all the exciting new opportunities a change of venue might have presented me, I'm still not all that much better off than I was before. I'm like a quiet little harbor in a raging storm, and wishing I could have it both ways: the adventure of truly being alive, and the peace that comes from discovering who you really are. What I do know, is after all this time -- almost exactly two years -- time is getting short and I don't wanna let another Jesse pass me by.

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Sean can be reached at sheenshane@hotmail.com


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