Tuesday, January 6, 2009

WWKD

My senior year of high school the American Red Cross paraded onto our campus urging us to donate blood with the promise of cookies and juice, a sense that we'd be doing something good and a discreet way to find out which STD's we'd accumulated in our short sexual histories. They had me at cookies, but I was also curious to see if I had any acronyms under my belt. While reading through the questionnaire that determined whether my blood was good enough, I came upon a prodding inquiry: Are you a male who has had sexual contact with another male, even once, since 1977? Well, yes, more than once even. But this was a hard one to answer, I'd been out to my family and friends for almost a year, but I'd never put it down on paper to be filed away somewhere for Big Brother to refer back to during the onslaught of a not to far off World War III as a candidate for internment or front line combat. Checking off that little yes box felt entirely to official and I was torn between caution and outspoken pride; I asked myself, what would Kyle do? 

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.  


5 comments:

  1. Wow...AOL...just those three letters alone bring back a rush of memories of my own "early gay days." lol Hopefully you end up running into or finding Kyle again, someway, somehow. Who knows, he might even be thinking back to you every now and then, wondering how you've turned out. :)

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  2. Yeah remember the excitement of that little voice informing you that "You've Got Mail."

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  3. OMG THE BEST THE BEST I LOVE IT! dude! my FAVORITE writtings of yours are the ones where YOU come through withe every syllable. I love, love this piece. gReat job.

    one day ill stop spelling writtings, writter with two tt's. but for now, i like the extra emphasis:) xoxox xin

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  4. You're a fantastic writer.

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