Blue Streaks in my Hair 2
"Awkward" was not the word. I walked into Advanced Composition that Monday after the weekend Michael and I had spent together. Well, at least one night of it anyway. He had left early. I hardly remember it. I'm a deep sleeper. Still, he didn't bother to call me the next day. So, I guess it should not have surprised me. He was sitting in the back today, near the other guys. I tried to ignore him, and just sat in my seat at the front. I took a lot of "notes" that class period. I didn't want to participate. Michael was dead to me. Unless, of course, he called me or touched me or looked at me the right way. Well, you know the drill. I didn't want to think that we weren't going to hook up again. I had our whole life planned out by now. I knew exactly what color our poster bed's comforter would be. But, he went and ruined it!
I tried to console myself in that he might just need some time. Maybe he would come around. Maybe the Titanic would rise to the surface and offer Decaprio and me rides on it. Well, I tried to believe that I felt like that it was his loss. We could have had a good thing going. I tried to blot out all the stupid things I had written on the back of my notebook in a sea of ink. I was sooo stupid.
It took a week or two for me to get used to the fact that Michael was hanging out with the straight dudes in class. I caught his eye occasionally. He looked away. Was that guilt I detected? Doesn't matter. Michael would probably make some girl really happy. I could not bear the thought of him being with another guy. That was too much too soon. I even grew polite after a while. What choice did I have?
Maybe I should have just written the story of our lives into one of my compositions, but I was too scared to do that. There are balls for painting blue streaks in one's hair, and there are balls for admitting blatantly that you were a raging homosexual in the deepest, darkest parts of the South! Heaven forbid. The building would catch fire from the stones falling from heaven. The idea appealed to me. I was a little depressed about a certain beautiful, dodgy Irishman who had fucked me like a horse. But, what can you do?
I caught up to one of my friends from high school. Straight as an arrow, turns out. Still, I offered to help him move. He said that I misunderstood him, and that one of his friends needed help moving. The friend had gotten on the nerves of his roommate so much that he was being kicked out by his roomie. That did not sound good, but then I got a look at him. My friend from high school was Asian-looking. I had no problem with that, but he was straight. His friend, however, gave off some signs that he might be gay.
I liked this guy immediately. He had a ready smile. He had glasses and seemed like a computer geek. His hair was cut in sort of a boy-like cut (a kind of Tom Swift-like crew cut). He liked to wear shorts most of the time. They showed off his thin, hairy legs. He was very thin, but he was also rather short. I've always liked that combination. Guys that are little and cuddly like that turn me on. What am I saying? I had no experience with such a breed. But, I was going to like this. I just hoped he knew he was gay or bi. Otherwise, I was pursuing a relationship much like the one with Michael. Well, humans are creatures of habit.
So, I helped him move all his stuff to another room on a different floor in the dorm. It must have taken us hours. I liked watching the guy move around and smile at me. He was sooo cute. Still, at the end, he says:
"I sure do appreciate the help. Let me know if you ever need to move. I'll help you."
I was a little crushed. I had not hoped for that much, but it was more than I was getting now.
"Oh, yeah. [pause] Uh, no problem." I nodded my head affably. Why do I exist, Lord?
Another time I was asking for canned goods for a food drive my dorm was doing. I went to a sophomore dorm, because they were not participating (to the best of my knowledge), and it was a male dorm. Well, my heart was in the right place. Of course, my dick wasn't. It was enjoying walking down a strange men's dorm. Then, I saw him. He had just come out of the shower room, and all he wore was a towel. Okay, I won't tell you that I didn't think about yanking his towel off. He was handsome.
But, I didn't. Centuries of genteel charm were wasted on me, but I just talked to the muscular white guy with dark hair, dripping water onto the office carpet under our feet. I flagged him down.
"Oh, hey! Do you have any canned goods to give to charity? I'm doing it for my dorm."
He looked at me in confusion (beautiful, but maybe not that bright), then a light went on, and he said, "Oh, yeah, I have some stuff. Come with me."
Lord knows I wanted to come with him, but not how he meant. I followed him to his room. Apparently, he was some kind of sports nut. Then, I saw the swim suit pics, and I knew that I was getting nothing but canned goods. He smiled a lot. I wanted him to drop his towel, but he never did. I thanked him, and I went back to my dormórather sick. I wondered where the gay men were.
Finally, I did the unthinkable. I joined the student gay/lesbian/transgendered group. Well, I didn't join. One meeting with those losers, and I knew they weren't for me. They even had the audacity to suggest that the club was not for dating purposes. So, we sit around and discuss fag bashing, bake sales, and current events. Major yawn. Where were the strippers? I know I sound shallow, but these were my college years. It looked like I was going to have to become a Canadian citizen to have a hot moment once again.
Now, it wasn't just the sex. That was a big part of it too. But, I really enjoyed the comfort of knowing I was not alone. I'd been worried since I was in my teens that there were lots less than that mythical 10% of homosexual human beings in my neck of the woods. People were such Neanderthals and puppets of the regime. I couldn't believe sometimes how often southern people kow-towed to the mandates of conformity. Even when you told someone in good faith:
"Yeah, I'm gay; but, that doesn't change anything."
Immediately, they would get THAT look in their eyes. That look that said: "I'll be praying for your soul." Otherwise, you and some boy are going to burn in hell for all eternity. They even said things like:
"I still want you to be my friend, but don't you feel like you are being ... morally weak?"
I just wanted to jump up and down and scream in frustration. But, then (I guess) they would say that I was possessed by unclean spirits, and they sure hoped I'd come back to the Lord soon. It really does make a gay guy (or gal, probably) not want to be a Christian. I sure stopped going to church the minute I got away from home. Find a church? What for? They were only going to tell me how wrong I was, or I would have to be in the closet around them. Shit, no.
[[Rant begins: If you want to avoid a Rant on politics/religion/etc. Please go down to where it says: RANT ENDS below.]] And, I don't mean to be ugly, but when I joined a "gay" church, all they seemed to want from me was money and attendance. Money? So, they could build a big sanctuary like the other churches in town. I guess they had no idea that I had come to like the idea of meeting in someone's home. It felt like family. Then, they wanted to build some big refrigerated building where everyone would be all separate like the big churches. Puh-lease. I think it's put best when you tell folks that you're a spiritual gay man, but not a religious one. It's true, and it lets them know something about their damned big churches with stained-glass windows (where the money for the windows could have been used to help somebody ailing in the community). Sheesh. What was up with these so-called Christians?
I'm trying not to go off on the Pope right now. I'm trying not to express my disgust that a liar and a murderer is our president now. I'm trying not to ... have a heart attack over the great losses of humanity. Ever since pictures came back from Ethiopia in the `80's, I've wanted to help the rest of the planet. NAFTA was supposed to do that, but all it helps are the corporations. [[RANT ENDS!!!]].
So, I was pretty much on my own. The blue streaks in my hair had not worked so far. Still, spraying them on every morning. I thought they looked pretty kewl actually. But, no one ever complimented them or anything. I guess that would have been too much to ask, I guess. I'm not going to become bitter.
Anyway, I was having lunch in the cafeteria one day. I had picked a few comfort foods, put them on my tray, paid for it, and found a seat. I was nearby this table full of people talking, but I was being nosy. They didn't have to know I was listening to them, after all. I started eating. Eventually, an older (but younger-looking/acting) woman came over to my table and invited me to join them.
They were a Presbyterian Christian group (Presbyterian Church USAóbelieve me, I learned later that there is a big difference in the kind of Presbyterian you are talking to), and they met every week to have "fellowship." I grudgingly joined. And, of course, I liked being able to talk to a group of friends instantly. I was pretty sure that none of them were gay. But, I was desperate for a little social interaction. My roommate never showed up, so I was kind of lonely. The leader of the group even invited me over to her house. She said that people just drop in when they feel like it. Wow! That was incredible: Someone opening their house up to strangers. That was kewl in my book. Nobody asked about the blue streaks, and I didn't tell them. I needed this. Whatever.
It was not long until I was driving myself over to the Presbyterian college minister's house every day (it seemed like). I kept it to a minimum, as I wanted to keep up my grades (and my scholarship and my freedom). Plus, I have to admit this: her son was fine. Fine with a big ole "F" all over the place. He was shorter, very thin, dark blond hair, sculpted face in light skin, and he smoked. He wore black trench coats and combat boots and jeans, and neat shirts. He was stylish and the very way he moved was graceful. Each moment he impressed me with his cat-like grace, his beautiful blue eyes, his sultry tones. I was beginning to believe he was gay. He was into fantasy, horror, movies, and role-playing games. I was in love. I loved all these things, and I definitely loved him.
But, he might still be a straight arrow. I could not tell. I could not go and ask him. That would have ruined our relationship for good. Lord knows I wanted to ask him. But, being with him without sex was better than not being with him without any sex. Get it? It was twisted. I know that. But, it was all I had at the time. And, that was enough for quite a few months. I became a regular at the PCUSA meetings, but I always asked how the minister's son, Rick was. They had to know something was up. But, Rick went along with it too, apparently. I remember laying on his bed with him, talking about things. He would inevitably have to go out to smoke (his mom didn't want the smoke in the house), and I would join him, hanging on his every word. We talked about life, the universe, and everything.
I realize now that it was kind of like a pressure pot. I didn't understand it then, but now I do, sort of. The more we talked, the more he questioned his sexuality. He was attracted to me too. But, he had a lot on his mind. There was going to be a breaking point. And, I wondered who would break first...
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