Simon Thibault

December 1998

I was talking to one of my former boyfriends last night. He told me that he has grown to loathe Christmas and its arrival.

When Corey and I were dating, it was a secret. Not even my roommates knew. Corey was closeted and that didn't bother me. I never thought i would date someone who was closeted, but here we were, finding places to hide on campus, bouncing emails off one another, and saying that, 'Oh he slept on the floor", and rarely speaking to one another in public. The walls have ears all the way to home.

The walls had mouths all the way to home.

When Corey left for x-mas, i was happy. I was with someone. I was worried about him because his parents were, i thought, a little on the conservative side, and that's why we had to play the hide-and-go-seek game. When Corey called me from his relative's place, he was in shock. He had told his parents that he was gay, and they hit the roof.

They locked him in the house.

They took him to the priest.

They took him to the doctor.

It was horrible.

The most horrible part of it all, was that i was realizing how much i cared about Corey, but didn't love him. Corey came from home, and a week later, i left him.

I didn't love him, and didn't think it was fair for him to be with someone who couldn't give him what he deserved.

That, the fact that his parents took control of his life, he had only begun to come out, and everything came tumbling down.

The day Corey left i was about to write an exam, and he came rushing to find me, and i was stressed and hostile. I'll always regret that.

It was only after Corey left that our relationship gained a sense of normality.

He and i were in the city at the same time and se we decided to meet up. His current beau did not want to meet me. He left the coffee shop before i got there.

I saw him a few months later, once again in the city when i had come in for a poetry reading. He was trying to find a job, but ended up returning to live with his parents.

one night, i was in bed when he called. We talked for over an hour, and he sounded well. I myself, had been in a miserable mood, and was more than happy to talk to him.

I learned from a mutual friend that he was planning on going to university in the same city where i would be. I went to find him, but he was not to be found.

Two weekends later, i was at a bar when he walked in. He looked wonderful, he had lost weight and had aged into his face, keeping his baby-face, but more dignified, and less innocent. We talked for a while, reminiscing and catching up. He was dating someone new, was staying at home (still) and was working. I saw him again the next nite, but he seemed less than thrilled to see me. I later found out that his boyfriend was jealous of our meeting.

He called me last night. WE talked for an hour, and interrupted me in the middle of one of my sarcastic rants, and said, "You haven't changed. You still make me laugh".

That night, i remembered one of our earlier conversations in which he had said, "I remember the first time i spoke to you. I was drunk and stoned and too scared to say anything, so i just looked at you from the corner of the room and said, "Hi". You were in drag, and all i could think was, "You look much better as a man".

I asked him about x-mas and he said that he thinks it might be easier. It's been two years since that first x-mas, and he has a new life now. His parents still resent the fact that he's gay (his parents are devout Christians, his mother is an ordained member of her church), but they've grown more tolerant. Christmas will never be the same.

I hope that it doesn't. I hope that he can love Christmas again, in a not the way it was when he was a kid, not the way it was two years ago when his parents found out that he was gay, but in a new context, with people who love him, and want to be with him, all of him.

Merry Christmas Corey.


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