This note on a birthday card motivated me to write my story.
Sept. 27, 2004
Bet you're surprised to get this after so long a time. What, seven years! I didn't know your address but chanced your parents were still at your house and sent it there for forwarding. See, I did not forget your birthday.
I hope you watched the Olympics. Was disappointed in how it turned out but I really did dive well except for that one glitch. It was thrilling just to be there.
I am finishing up my doctorate in Micro-biology and dating a Chinese girl whom I met two year's ago while skiing. So things are going well for me. Except that my father died last year. I miss him terribly. But he never did get over Mom's death. I understand that and forgive him. He was wonderful to me.
I often think of you and how special you are. You will always remain my best friend though time and distance separate us. If you get a moment, drop me a line. I would love to hear from you. Have you met someone? Tell me what you're doing although I know for certain that whatever you do, you will do it well.
Drew and I never did watch Rear Window. Andy and I bought the DVD last year. Every time we watch it my mind succumbs to memory annoying him that I seem not to enjoy this masterpiece.
Drew and I remained intimately close until the end of the school year. I spent more and more time at Drew's. Reflecting, I see it also, in part, as a young man's inevitable separation from the parental milieu. I got to know his father very well. He was one of the nicest men I have ever met. He was kind, intelligent and able. His relationship with Drew was one of deep loving respect. I am very sad that he could not cope with his loss of Joanna.
In the few remaining months, until the close of the school year, Drew and I became expert lovers learning lessons maybe to be fulfilled in future life-long partnerships. Most of our subsequent experiences were not as intense but nonetheless, uninhibited and intensely touching. I learned that tenderness can be passion.
Those who knew us well would never have expected our intimacy. But those who knew me well saw a fundamental change. Always outgoing, I was less frenetic. Mr. Keating, who, as expected, awarded us the highest mark for the essay, told me at our last class that I had matured into a fine young man. Our prom was two days before I was leaving for Paris to attend the Université Catholique for a summer course in French. Drew and I both had dates. We drank too much beer. At 5:00 a.m. in the morning, I crashed at his place.
It was the last time we were together. I missed him.
Drew's father was transferred again, in July, this time to the west where Drew entered University. He was our national silver medallist in the ten-metre platform. He qualified for the Olympics and came in a respectable fifth. I was amused when he strutted his stuff. I was thrilled when he made those graceful dives that sometimes seemed suspended in slow motion. I felt his disappointment when he missed his second last dive which moved him from bronze to fifth. I will write to Drew to tell him that I was glued to the television for the competition and that I recorded his performances
I obtained a BA and did my Master`s in Cinema and Theatre. I wrote my thesis on the importance of secondary relationships to the action in Hamlet. I was known as a scholar who was disciplined and organized. My many new friends find me funny, interesting but with a certain reserve. One comments that I seem to greet the world with a wry smile. Others say that I am nice. Niceness is important to me.
During my university years, I had several sexual experiences. Some of them were quite funny and some, for a brief time, the ones where I thought I had found `drewness,' were intense. I do not regret that, out of character, under the influence of hash or too much French wine, I experimented in some wild forays. I might write about them at another time. Suffice to say, and this amuses me, by the time I came to New York to work in the theatre, I had been around. This is useful in The City.
Do you want to know if I loved Drew? I did, but not in the sense that you might think. Drew was my finest friend. Chance worked its charm on him and me. Some young men have an infinite capacity for intense friendship that escapes our cynical world's understanding. However, I never thought of a life long relationship with him, certainly not a relationship as I now have with Andy. I knew he would meet a girl. I hope she is special. He deserves that.
Do you want to know if I regret the lack of reciprocation? I can assure you that I never gave it any thought. I think I accepted that I was gay and he was not. Yet, he reciprocated in ways that I cannot quite adequately express. His reciprocation took the form of warmth and understanding, passion and tenderness. He was an intimate and passionate man. As a result I am a better man for it. Although our exclusive and sexual friendship was the most important thing those last few months of my last year in high school, it was just a rite of passage through which I became a man. "Je ne regrette rien."
So here I am, reader-friend, my story finished. It is very late. I hope that I have told it felicitously. My florid language is an attempt to vivify the past, youthful, passionate moments that Drew and I shared.
The flood of memories has exhausted me. Andy is in the other room rehearsing his lines, preparing an audition for the part of Trent in a new production of Six Degrees of Separation. It is a rainy New York night. Our small 10th story apartment looks out onto the behemoth apartment next door. People in it are about their varied businesses. Some are having dinner while others are waiting for someone. There is a hint of the funny and the sinister, altogether so much like our city.
Shutting out the light, I said audibly: "Goodnight sweet prince."
On my entry into the living room, Andy asked, "Did you say something?" I gave him a big hug and an affectionate kiss.
The rest is silence.