Paul Pellerito

August 1998

Reason for Living

Yeah, I'm back.

I had to take a few months off, school and everything kept me busy. I'm finally out of high school, and ready to move on to college. Graduation and my open house kept all of us busy, not to mention the fact that we had a big storm and lost our power for the whole week! My brother and I both had our open houses on the same day, so we had twice as much food to make, and rented our a pavilion in our local park for everyone. It was fun watching my dad's side of the family get surprised at all my gay friends that came. There were also people from PFLAG there who were having an entire conversation using the G-word. Poor grandma must've freaked out.

This being my first column in a while, I suppose I ought to reacquaint you with everything that's happened in my life besides graduating from high school.

Back towards the middle of March I was chatting in #gaymich on IRC and this kid started talking to me. His name was Jeff, and he was 18 just like me. He lived 2.5 hours away on the other side of the state, so I didn't really pay much attention at first. We gradually formed a friendship and eventually started to fall in love. We met for the first time while I was on spring break the first week of April, and I completely fell for him.

During the next few months we saw each other intermittently, with either him driving here or me driving over there. I didn't take him to prom but we went to an after-prom party together with bunch of my friends. He's a roller coaster freak, and I love them as well, so we went to Cedar Point for the weekend once. I was never really sure how it would turn out, Jeff being so far away from me. Just when we couldn't stand being alone any longer, a bad situation turned out for the best.

Jeff's mother was moving to Minnesota, and his brother was taking over the mortgage on the house. One night they got into a big fight and his brother kicked him out. His mother, not having much say, tried to keep the peace but Jeff had had it. During the next few days he decided he was going to move to Grand Rapids.

I told my mom about the whole thing, wondering if she knew how to help. She had met Jeff and really liked him, as had most of my friends here. Mom said it was okay for Jeff to move in here, the plan being that he would stay in our basement when it was done being finished off and then eventually get his own apartment once he got settled.

So I got a graduation present: My boyfriend moving in just before. He helped out with my open house, and it was great having him here for both graduation and my party. This month that he's been here so far has been wonderful, although we still have family problems and financial difficulties he's doing what he can to help out. Unfortunately I took an office job during the day and I still work at Meijer in the evening so I don't get to spend much time with him until the end of the week. But we see each other every night and I'm finally happy now that I've found someone to love and share my life with. I owe a lot of it to my mother, and I'm extremely grateful that she's so accepting. A lot of my gay friends are totally jealous -- imagine what their parents would have done if they wanted their boyfriends to move in!

This whole experience has strengthened my hope and belief that when things are bad, they'll get better. Just last year I was alone and depressed because I had no one to love me. Now I'm moving on with my life and I've got someone who I want in it forever. I've got a reason to live.

See you all next month!


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