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A.J.

November 1998

Well, I'm back at school. Much to my surprise and glee, things didn't entirely fall apart before I got on the plane, and I managed to make it back to campus in one, relatively whole, piece. So much has happened, and so much is likely to change in the next month, I'm almost scared to put anything down here as my article.

Leaving

This is an interesting story, because I left Houston like the proverbial bat out of hell. I called Southwest Airlines to find out my ticket information on Monday. The lady confirmed me on the flight (and gave me a confirmation number so I could pick up my ticket) that left Houston on Wednesday at 7:30pm. Going from that in-formation, I made plans with Pretender and Ranger and Alison (For background on these individuals refer to prior articles) to see me off.

On Tuesday, Ranger and I went to get my stuff from my parent's house. We got there, got the stuff and left; but in the interim he met my entire family (except my middle brother who refused to come out of his room). It was an amazingly smooth experience, with absolutely no hitches whatsoever.

On Tuesday night/Wednesday early morning, I called Southwest again to confirm my flight, but when I give the lady my confirmation number, she informs me that I never bought the ticket. What happened (which I found out only after calling my mother and getting the real confirmation number) was that my mother bought a ticket for me, but when I plotted out my course; a record was made. That record showed itself on the passenger manifest. So, basically I had to call my mother to drive me to the airport (since my friends were at school/work and therefore couldn't come get me) so I could get on the plane that was 2 hours after the one I was sup-posed to be on. It was really annoying.

One advantage of this mix up however was the drive up, where as we were driv-ing, my mother said; " ... and that boy you brought home ... he was extremely sweet, but you are crazy if you thing you can't tell he's gay." I asked her why she said that, and she gave me a couple of feeble responses like, "He seemed scared to be around me." "Mom, its probably cause he's heard stories about you." "He didn't have a firm handshake." Which to me is sort of feeble since after all he's shaking a woman's hand. She kept quiet for a couple of seconds and then took a deep breath and said, "He was extremely good looking, but you can still tell he's gay." It took a lot to make me not just break out laughing. I thought it was really funny, because she was really trying to be honest but at the same time she was having major prob-lems saying anything good about a gay person.

When I saw Chicago laying before me, as the plane started its decent, I started to cry ... it was really pathetic. It really didn't hit me that I wasn't gonna see any of my friends for another month to three months (Ali is coming the last weekend in October).

Lonely

That's probably the only way to accurately describe my emotion when I got back. It lasted for at least three weeks. I had gotten so used to having my friends all around me and in this supportive web, and after the summer friends that I thought I had weren't friends anymore. And worse, people that I trusted turned against me. Basically I started to feel like I was going to go nuts and just jump on the bus go to the airport and take the next flight to Houston, or Milan, or Tokyo.

Tokyo

Not entirely a non sequitur, but rather a good segue to the really cool aspect of my second year of college. I am now in Japanese 111. I love the class, and I'm learning a lot. The teacher is absolutely fantastic, and I'm working extremely hard to learn the language. Unfortunately this has the negative effect of making my other classes get less attention than they ought to. I'm in the Slavic Vampire class ... yeah, I know what people are thinking, "HUH?!". I love my school, and the Slavic studies department decided to let my teacher run with the idea of having a class on the Vampire. In addition to that, I have Social Studies (BORING: Smith and Marx right now, but with such a bad spin that it leaves a bad taste in one's mouth) and Organic Chemistry (the TRUE bane of my existence).

Frustrated

I don't know what the hell I'm doing at this school anymore. I don't like Organic Chemistry, but I need to do it to be a bio major, but I'm not really concerned about my biology classes. I primarily want to spend my time writing, reading or doing Japanese. I don't see why I'm doing this to myself then. I should just be a goof ball major. I don't know why I'm doing this to myself. <sigh> oh well. Its something that I need to get over. Who knows, maybe I'll end up in med school after all ... or not. It just seems like I have no direction whatsoever. Thank god I had a good weekend last weekend ...

Last Weekend

How I changed this weekend: 1) I am now a football fan, 2) I'm a Notre Dame football fan, 3) I realized that there are people who's college lives suck for entirely different reasons as my own.

If anybody is looking at Notre Dame as a college choice there are a couple of things to consider: While I was there I saw the most beautiful guys, but more guys than girls ... hmmm ... (although with St. Mary's ... its about 50/50) ... good right? I don't know about that, I mean I know there are gay guys at Notre Dame. A great example was as I was walking to put my tray up I got majorly checked out (I mean the look up, look down, stare, look up and down again check out) by a guy (one of the cuter ones too!) with a girlfriend. It makes me wonder how they stand it. Then again I remember my high school, which was also a private school. I felt really comfortable there, and I was amazed at how fast I became reaccustomed to the predefined behavior patters for living in that environment. I knew when to smile, nod, look and not to look. I knew what I was doing, and I was able to feel comfort-able because I knew that I was acting like I was supposed to act. I didn't realize that it was something so easily turned on and off, or maybe it was just being in that situation. I don't know that I would be able to go to school at Notre Dame. I'd love it, I mean I know that I would have a blast, but I don't think I'd had the freedom to explore who and what I was were I there. Everything is much more regimented than at my school. Here you are expected to be original and explore what you want. There it seems much more like you are obeying a standard; this is the way it is done, and therefore that is the way it must be. Maybe its that I'm taking opposition to the repressed atmosphere. Sex is not permitted in dormitory rooms, at least in theory. I guess I'm not surprised, it is still a very Catholic school, and there really are priests running around on campus (let me tell you that took me back to high school!).

The food was great. I don't mean good for cafeteria or compared to my school's, but it was excellent food. I was really pissed cause they pay less per meal than I do! Its just not fair! For those of you reading this who aren't in college yet, believe me when I tell you that you will learn to hate dorm food by the end of the first semester/quarter/trimester.

The weekend I went up also happened to be parents weekend, and therefore I got to meet my friend's dad, granddad, and uncle. Let me tell you, I learned more about him in that weekend than I expected to learn in years! Funny side effect of that was that I liked him a lot more. I mean I knew a lot of the stupid stuff he had done when he was a kid, and listened to him whine an excuse ... it was just a unique way of learning about a person. It was great. (I'm holding off on giving my friend a nick name, cause I don't know for sure that I'll ever talk about him in the future. We'll see ... I would like to ... but its not all in my control).

In addition to having a great time, I also got a tremendous amount of work done. So, over all, I think I can say that I had the ideal weekend. Then I went back to school, and realized that my life really sucked. It's okay, my best friend is coming up tonight (since I'm writing this the last Thursday of October which is extremely late for turning in an article).

My Parents are Coming Around?!

I can't believe it but, my parents are actually coming around. My dad called me one morning just to say he loved me, we had a couple of conversations. My mother is actually okay talking to me again, and my middle brother is driving everybody up the wall. Basically they are realizing that just because a kid is straight doesn't make him great. I think they are learning to appreciate the fact that I'm a good son, despite the fact that I'm not straight. I don't know what to say or think, I told my mother that I was going up for the Notre Dame game, and I was going to see a friend in the process. She assumed that he was my boyfriend <shrug> ... .but she still said go and have a great time. I don't know what to make of that. It seems like she's actually becoming accustomed to the fact that I'm not straight ... even if she isn't happy with it. I only know that I'm going to stay at home for Christmas break, and maybe have friends over (!??!?!?). I don't know, maybe I should, but maybe I shouldn't. One thing I do know is that I'm blaming this on Ranger, who I think did me a lot more good than he thought when he came with me to get my stuff. I'd never ever gotten the opportunity to introduce somebody I cared about a lot to my parents, and introducing Ranger was something that filled this gap that I wasn't even aware existed. I also think that Ranger being inconsistent with the stereotypi-cal gay male helped me there too. I don't know, but I'm getting to be sort of opti-mistic about my future with my parents.

Conclusion

Surprisingly I've run out of things to talk about, I figured I could at least go on for a couple more hours! I really hope this article reads better than last month's. I actu-ally have less time on my hands, but I've spent a lot more time thinking about what's going on. I'm trying to bring my writing back to a decent level. Anyway, I need to go grab a bite to eat before I have the Queers and Associates meeting (where I'm up for election as the male co- chair ... something I'd probably do a good job with, but I don't really have the time to do) and then go get my friend from the airport. I hope everybody is careful and happy this Halloween. (And before anybody asks if I forgot about Matthew Shepard, I didn't. I chose not to write about that tragedy because I didn't feel it my place to say anything, and moreover I didn't want to depress people more by pointing out that he's not the only one who's died, and that he's probably not the last. I hope people use his death constructively and work towards making our world a less ignorant and more loving place to live in, rather than just bitching and whining about injustice and politics. See aren't you glad I squeezed all that into a parenthetical at the end? I mean imagine 5 pages on it!) Anyway, god bless y'all, and if you are curious about my school, about my life, or about me in particular feel free to IM me at Soulseer on AOL, and/or e-mail me at soulseer@cyberdude.com . Take care everybody, and I hope you are happy with whatever you choose to do.


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