September 1998

(All names here are fictional, even mine, unless otherwise stated.)

Tuesday Evening, August 11

Where do I begin...? I guess with myself. I'm 15 years old, I live in Austin, Texas, and I consider myself gay, though I am occasionally physically attracted to a woman.

Thursday Afternoon, August 13

Here's an example of how screwed up I am right now: The main theme that I was going to write this column on was how much it sucked to be so deeply in love (if that is the right word to use) with Chris, a very straight guy, as recently as Wednesday. Then, it changed to how I my crush on Chris had disappeared because of the odd chance that Paul, the ONE good-looking gay guy in my school, and I might have some chemistry. Then, today, I ended up leaving lunch wondering how I ever thought I was over Chris. So I'm now sitting in biology, trying to figure out this parade of shit called life, and trying to figure out this lecture. (If the body stores extra energy in starches, that does mean that that extra helping of pasta literally goes directly to my ass, doesn't it?)

Wednesday was the first day of school down here, (most of Texas starts either this week or one either side) and after all of the papers had been handed out in advisory, about five of us were sitting around talking, waiting to be released to class. Paul and I were sitting across from each other in the group, and over the conversation our eyes caught each other's. It wasn't an eye contact that, had it been in a movie, would cause the background music to suddenly come to a sappy crescendo, but it seemed that there was something exchanged there beyond a glance. Then, as we were leaving, there was a little exchange between one person and Paul, which "You suck!" "Yes I do."; he really ought to watch that, I'll get ideas.

That day at lunch, I saw Chris in the hallway, and it was like I hadn't seen him in two and a half hours instead of two and a half months. It felt strange, like there should have been something more there, but there wasn't. I just assumed that, like every previous year since 6th grade, my emotional side had forgotten about the crush over the summer. Anyway, I had bigger fish to fry. I had caught a glimpse of Paul's schedule, and he was going to be in my biology class, right after lunch.

(Note from outside the flashback: Paul is making me laugh again. I think I'm going to go nuts if I don't get to at least talking with him, since we're going to end up spending 90 minutes together every day this year, and this is the first time when I've really been attracted to somebody for their personality, and not just their appearance.)

Biology came, and I ended up getting into Paul's group on our very first lab. Conveniently, it was the only one left. I did pretty well on the experiment, but proved my theory that I'll end up putting my foot in my mouth around anyone I am attracted to. I didn't say much, but what I did was um sort of uh hard in coming.

(Speaking of people putting their foot into their mouths, somebody is doing a very bad job of explaining something in front of the class, and Paul and I are the only ones with the balls to come out and laugh at this situation though quite a bit of the class appears to be amused. We have too damn much in common. Now only if I had the balls to come out to the world, or even just him...)

Today at lunch, I ended up sitting at the table next to Chris, with his clique, which includes a couple of mutual friends of mine, and the old attraction returned, as strong as before.

Friday Afternoon, August 14

Biology class again. Sometime, Ms. Taylor is going to catch on that it's not biology I'm furiously scribbling at. Though I don't think anyone can see me. I'm pushed back a couple of feet from the table, writing on my notebook, which is perched on one knee, and hunched pretty far over.

Paul just indicated that he considers himself to be a male. (A good sign!) It'd be a whole new ballgame if he was female.

(The next several paragraphs are just remarks in chronological order, with no real timeline.)

Paul just made a one-syllable exclamation of "WHAT?!" that I would have attributed to a female, if not for the accent. For the record, Paul's voice isn't exactly on par with Barry White, but he's not too terribly effeminate either.

While I'm in a lull, I might as well mention that I've seen Paul looking at me a couple of times, which pisses me off. Not because I am being looked at, but because I don't know WHY! I am, admittedly in almost the exact center of the room, but both of the times, the center of attention was not somewhere behind me from his point of view. I wish I wasn't so shy, or maybe I'd strike up a conversation sometime. While I'm in that conversation, I hope that my tendency to sound like a bumbling idiot doesn't show, either.

I'm noticing that Paul has given his denim shirt (jacket?) to somebody next to him. I'd probably be selfless like that if I didn't get cold quite so easily. There I go again, convincing myself that we have things in common. I'm either setting myself up for a big emotional fall, or a big surprise if all of this turns out to be true.

Friday Evening, August 14

Maybe I would like for any relationship I have with anybody to go public, and save me the pain of having to come out. I'd be well known in a hurry; news travels fast, but scandal travels faster. I think I'll leave that till next issue.

Looking through the crack around the closet door and realizing it's not that bad out there,

Mike, mikedecker@hotmail.com

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