Wednesday, June 17, 2009
He was walking along the side of the road on a warm summer afternoon, heading the same place I was.
Driving past in my blue Oldsmobile, I honked the horn and did my best attempt at a cavalier wave, though the coolness of this gesture was somewhat dampened when I drifted into the lefthand lane and had to swerve sharply right.
I raced to my house, dropped off what I needed to, and then bounded out the door and ran all the way to Sacagawea's house, crossing a farmer's yard and jumping two fences in the process. When I got to my friend's home, I realized she was out, meaning that the guy and I would be the only ones there.
I caught my breath and tried to act as if I hadn't just sprinted from my house to hers. I ambled about in the front yard as casually as I could, calling up a random person so I could appear to be talking to someone when he reached me.
I kept the conversation going until he had gotten to within several yards, and then I told the person on the phone I had to go.
He looked over at me after I hung up.
"She's not here," I informed him, but he started up to Sacagawea's door anyway. "I don't get it. They were supposed to be here at five."
I had been invited, along with my nineteen-year-old brother Powell, to attend a meeting of the Mountain Town High School Gay-Straight Alliance, or GSA, being held at Sacagawea's house. Sacagawea graduated last year, but her sixteen-year-old sister Pocahontas is active in the organization. Public schools here have dismissed for the summer, and the club members wanted to assemble so they could discuss possible summer activities.
One of those members was Bisexual Boy, a seventeen-year-old who will be a Senior next year. On the afternoon of the scheduled meeting, he and I sat next to one another on Sacagawea's porch, me in awkward silence because I didn't know what to say.
Despite the difference in our ages, I've had a crush on him since I came out, quite possibly because he's one of only two other gay guys I know in this conservative rural community. The other guy is Sacagawea's close friend Gay Boy, a twenty-year-old with a great deal more experience than me where it comes to men.
Bisexual Boy has had a few boyfriends, but, like me, is a virgin. I've always said that I'd like to date a virgin, because at least then neither one of us would know how clueless the other was.
"Do you think it's weird that he's seventeen and I'm twenty-one?" I asked Pocahontas while discussing my crush.
"Not really," Pocahontas said. "That's only four years. Gay Boy is five months younger than you and he and Bisexual Boy dated."
"That's true," I said. "When did that happen?" I asked.
"Last year," she said.
"So he would have been a Sophomore in college and Bisexual Boy would have been a Sophomore in high school," I said. "Yeah, I guess he and I aren't that bad then."
It would be hard not to be attracted to Bisexual Boy given my peculiar situation. He's one of two gay young men I know in a small town, a handsome, charismatic boy with whom I share a score of mutual friends.
I find him so charming, though he isn't sophisticated at all.
Bisexual Boy is a few inches shorter than I am, with long, sinewy arms; sleek calves; a slim waist; chiseled facial features; and beautiful, shining dark brown hair that he wears short but looks amazing long. His eyes are a vivid shade of light blue.
His personality is great, too. Like me he's often loud and boisterous, cracking jokes that have the entire room laughing. He's just all around really appealing, and so I was a bit anxious when I found myself alone with him, unsure what I should say.
"So," he began. "I heard about you..."
"Oh," I said, laughing at a wildly-inappropriate moment. "Yeah."
I looked down at the floorboards of Sacagawea's deck.
"Yeah, I'm gay..." I said.
I asked him when he came out, and he told me it was in ninth grade.
"I've never had a boyfriend or anything," I said. "Because I'm just coming out now, like this summer."
"Wow," he replied. "That's got to suck for you."
"Yeah," I smiled. "It really does. I'm just thankful that I'm doing it now, when I'm twenty-one and with two years of school left, rather than a few years down the road."
"Or when you're forty," he added.
"I know," I said. "Can you imagine that? I can't even think of how bitter those people must be. I'm upset that I missed out on high school, but it must be terrible not to figure it out until you're in your forties."
We chatted until the others, including my brother Powell, arrived, and then we all went in.
Present were Bisexual Boy, Sacagawea, Pocahontas, Powell, Amazing Hair, Musical Girl, and me. With the exception of Sacagawea, Powell, and I, all of these people are rising Seniors in the Class of 2010.
Powell and I ran to Subway shortly after Sacagawea and Pocahontas returned home, and Bisexual Boy proceeded to tease me as I ate my six-inch.
"Oh, yeah, keep going fat-ass," he said to laughter all around. "Keep eating that sub."
"Shut up," I said. "You probably weigh like three pounds."
"Please," Bisexual Boy said, his hands on his tiny little waist. We're almost the identical body type. "What do you weigh?"
"Seriously?" I asked.
"Seriously," he said.
"Fine," I replied. "But I'll only tell you mine if you tell me yours."
"Okay, fine," he agreed.
"I weigh 127," I said.
"What!?" he exclaimed in mock horror.
"What about you?" I asked. "You're not getting out of it."
"135-140," he answered.
He's about ten pounds heavier, but you really can't tell. An alleged paunch that he's developing can only be seen when he lifts his shirt up and squeezes the flesh about his midsection, revealing a slight bump sprinkled lightly with brown hair.
"You gays and your weight," she said.
It's only now occurring to me that Powell was in fact in the room when this happened, but hopefully he assumed she was just talking about Bisexual Boy. I don't care that much. In fact, I'd almost rather that he figure it out through observation than through my having to tell him.
"You need to eat!" Bisexual Boy said.
"I swear, I eat all the time!" I said. "I--"
"No!" he interrupted me. "Stop talking! Eat, right now!"
It came out a bit louder than I think he'd intended, which could be a sign that he feels even a fraction of the awkwardness around me that I feel around him.
That would be so cool.
While I gulped down the last of the sub, he expounded on my unconscionable thinness.
"Oh, my gosh," he said. "If you gained weight, I'd die. If you lost weight, you'd die."
Like I said, he has a great sense of humor.
We bantered back and forth the entire meeting and occasionally traded jokes.
At one point, and I have no memory of what occasioned this, he slapped me in the face with a stuffed beaver, whereupon I seized the toy, slapped him back, and challenged him to a duel for insulting my honor.
When we weren't talking I tried to avoid looking at him, but towards the end of the get-together I saw something that startled and thrilled me.
I'd been concentrating on something else, and I moved my head to the side so I could see Bisexual Boy.
Our eyes met, not because he noticed me and looked over, but because I turned into his gaze; I think he'd been staring at me. As soon as I saw him he looked away.
After everyone else left, I sat down on the couch with Pocahontas.
"I need to talk to you," I said.
"Okay," she said. "About what?"
I smiled, laughed, and buried my head in a cushion.
"What do you think about?" I asked. I felt shy actually bringing it up. She just looked confused, though, so finally I said, "So, Bisexual Boy's really cute."
Her eyes lit up with excitement.
"Oh, my gosh!" she said.
She agreed that she thought he'd been flirting, and now she plans to mention it to him and get his reaction. I hope that I'm not deluded, that I'm not imagining a return of the interest I feel towards him. I've never had a boyfriend before and am actually more nervous about him saying yes than saying no. What do I do if we're officially a couple? How public a venue is appropriate for a date? Where do we spend time alone?
And when we are alone, how do I act?
What if he wants to do certain things...and I'm bad at it? We're both virgins, but there's a lot short of sex that two virgins can do to have fun together, and he's still much more experienced than I am.
I do like him, though.
Sometimes I feel like I'm not good-looking enough, but I realize I can't say that kind of thing to myself.
"When you're flirting, you have to think you're awesome," Sacagawea told me the night I confessed my attraction to Bisexual Boy.
I can't be that bad looking; anyone who's been following me since a few posts back knows my allure is such that I can impel hot Hispanic guys to cross dance floors for the explicit purpose of sexually assaulting me.
And if Bisexual Boy is anywhere near as into me as I am into him, our combined hotness is off the charts.