Kyle, a boy I'd met on AOL (the o.g. myspace) held the title of first guy to ever take me to a gay club. A small feat for him being one or two years older, but an important first step for me, having only had chat rooms and bookstores to cruise before that. Kyle fulfilled that roll for me for a good few years, he was the gay house mother I never knew I needed. He taught me that wearing sleeveless shirts was not only a quick way to piss off my dad, but just as functional in turning boys' heads. That sit-ups were as important to one's physique as they were to his social life, although I never did them. And that erotic male photography wasn't shameful, it was Art and it could be done in your very own bathroom.
I think of him when I see other boys with that look I must have had, like they just can't wait to burst out of their lives and explore the universe. And when I pop in his copy of "Something to Remember" and wonder if he still has my "Shakira MTV Unplugged" (white boy liked his Latinos). I think of him when my apartment feels like it could use some flowers to freshen the place up, even though I never go out and buy any. And I think of him when I spot a tacky rainbow bracelet and remember the black ink that linked two male symbols on his ankle, only to be covered by an average tribal to fulfill his duty to not ask and not tell.
The last time I saw him was unfit for a goodbye, a rushed wave from behind a counter crowded by fiends demanding their siren labeled lattes. I was certain I'd see him again. But I haven't.
Sometimes when I miss someone enough, I feel like I can will them back into my life. But with Kyle I cannot. No amount of myspacing, facebooking, googling or just plain asking around has helped me find him. I really just want to tell him stories, because he had so many to share with me, of boys from far away lands and adventures in heartbreak I only once dared to dream up. And I want to tell him that so many times I've still wondered what he would do in the messes I've gotten myself into. Like the time in high school, when I checked yes to the one question that somehow made my blood not good enough to save a life or two.