As I said, I’ve never responded to an ad on Craigslist. But I’ve met people in person that I originally met online. Several, actually. Not one of them turned out to be worth the time it took me to build up the nerve to actually meet them. Not one.
When I originally sat down to write No One I Love Will Ever Read This, it wasn’t going to be part of a series. It wasn’t going to go into anywhere NEAR the amount of detail the series ultimately ended up going into. It was mostly just gonna be a story about how I lost the first love of my life and found the second one. So, especially in those early posts, I left out a lot of details and exercised that “artistic liberty” I’ve mentioned in the past for making changes to reality in the name of storytelling.
I really wanted to drill home the idea that I’d met some real losers online. And the main reason I wanted to tell the story of how Trevor and I met was because it has always seemed somewhat “fateful” to me that I would meet a person who means so much to me through a seedy medium like the Cragistlist personals. But now I want to make a correction to the above statement:
Trevor wasn’t the only person I met online that I ended up caring about.
Before Craiglist became the big thing, Gay.com was how I met people online. It included chatrooms and I even got up the nerve to go into them a few times and talk to people. I know that’s not entirely shocking or brave to the generation of Snapchat, Chatroulette, Omegle, and all of that. But for a closeted gay guy from a conservative southern upbringing, it was pretty brazen. It was a big step outside of my comfort zone. Or at least I felt like it was ten years ago.
The first guy I ever had full-fledged sex with was from there. It’s a story I shared once, privately, with someone who asked but otherwise have left out of these writings. The main reason I bring it up now is simply to point out that he is a really great guy. We’ve been buddies for years (in fact, I had lunch with him just this past Saturday) and, even though you’ve never heard about him here, he’s one of my closest friends. I care about him a lot. He’s just not a part of the “group” I write about in these stories.
That’s also where I met Shawn all those years before Trevor brought him back into my world. And while it’s true that we fell out of touch when he moved away temporarily, I really do believe we’d have continued to be friends had he not. Obviously it goes without saying to most of you here that Shawn is a huge part of my life and I love the shit out of him.
I should probably go back and change the passage quoted above now that I’ve expanded this story so much from where it started, but I’m hesitant to change much about what’s already written. And, for the sake of the story as it was when I wrote “Avocados and Dirty Sluts”, it wasn’t important that I’d met other people online that I cared about. You weren’t originally going to know about Shawn or “my first” (haha), so I felt OK saying I’d never met anyone else online worth a damn.
I just wanted to take a minute to clear that up now, after the fact.
It’s true that most of the guys I met online were duds (like the cheating whore I wrote about in “Slayer of the Cheating Dragon” and “Coffee and Kicking Ass”). But a few weren’t.
A few are awesome men that I wouldn’t unmeet for anything.
(Side note: Cazwell always makes me think of seedy meetings on Craigslist. I think this song has a lot to do with that.)
Ten “interesting facts” related to my sophomore prom that never made it into the story:
It was the last school-hosted dance I went to. I was in the student council, so I helped to plan future dances. But I never actually went to one after sophomore prom. Since I couldn’t go with the person I wanted to go with, I chose to stay home from the rest of them. I didn’t even go to my senior prom. Instead, Amalita and I met up with some of our older friends who were out of school already and drank cheap wine.
Speaking of the person I wanted to go with, Dave looked so fucking cute all dressed up. I spent a decent amount of my sophomore prom thinking about how nice he looked in a tie. He always had a really nice butt and I recall thinking numerous times about how most guys didn’t have nice butts in suits. He did, though. Maybe I was biased. Years later I would see pictures from his wedding. He had a nice butt in a tux, too.
Sticking with Dave for a moment, more examples of how strict and controlling his parents were: 1) they went with him and his date to dinner before the dance. They sat across the restaurant from him and his date, but they were there 2) His mom was NOT an official chaperone for the dance, but she was there nonetheless 3) Exactly two hours after he arrived, they took him home - he didn’t get to stay for the whole thing, he didn’t get to go anywhere after, and his date stayed without him to spend more time with her friends. It was almost like he didn’t go. A lot of people didn’t think he did because they never saw him there. Ask me again why I didn’t like his folks?
“Crazy Girl” was actually a little nutty. I didn’t just make up stuff to give me an excuse for rejecting her advances. At the pre-prom dinner, she started acting funny and when I asked her what wrong, she said she was very thirsty. I looked at the huge glass of water in front of her and said “then take a drink”. “I can’t”, she replied. “Not until you’ve taken a drink first.” So… yeah… I had to take a drink of my water before she would touch hers. I dunno if she was waiting for me to test it to make sure it wasn’t poisoned or what. But as soon as I took a little sip, she grabbed hers and chugged almost half the glass without taking a breath.
Another reason I was nervous about meeting her parents: her dad managed the mall I worked in. Obviously he wasn’t my boss or anything, but I didn’t really know that at the time. I’d see him walking through the mall in his fancy suits with the managers from other stores and he always looked big and intimidating. So going to his house to take his daughter to a dance would have been a little unnerving even without the whole “I’m gay and not really into this whole dating girls thing” lie I was living at the time.
Several of my friends were ahead of me in school (some were juniors… a few were seniors… a few had graduated already). Some of them showed up to our prom and went around the parking lot tying tampons to all of the car antennas. It was a trick they would later play just on me. The bastards.
The after-prom “party” I went to was just down the street from a house I would grow to hate years later. It’s a long, long story that I might share some day. But there was a time when I thought Dave was actually acting on his repressed homosexual feelings with someone other than me. The guy lived down the street from where we went after prom. My unfounded jealousy, the arguments it caused, and the opportunities it kept me from exploring are all a huge part of my “Dave guilt”. At any rate, I had to pick him up from the guy’s house one day and I remember longingly thinking “those were the days” when I drove past the prom party house. It’s funny now… because… ya know… I thought I was soooo old then and things were soooo different. How little I actually knew about just how different things could really get.
“Crazy Girl” didn’t go to my school. Truth be told, I don’t know where she received her education. She lived next door to a friend of mine and that’s who set us up for the dance. So when I didn’t call her again or ever get in touch with her after she tried to get in my pants, it wasn’t as awkward as it could have been. The same friend that set me up with “Crazy Girl” set me up with another girl later, though. We “went out” for about a week before I broke up with her. I had a shitload of classes with that girl, though. So it was a little awkward. I didn’t let my friend set me up with anymore people after that.
The Bodyguard was playing on one of the TVs at the post-prom party. To this day it makes me feel weird and uncomfortable.
The real scandal of the night, for me, wasn’t so much the awkward sexual situation I found myself in or the lies I told to get out of it. It wasn’t the stories I told my friends the next day or in the weeks that followed, either. It was the fact that I tried to force myself into what was considered a “normal” situation for the sake of others and was miserable. The real scandal was how much I hated it and how much I worried about my hatred of the whole thing being a precursor for disappointing my parents later in the life. I really beat myself up a lot back then about not being the person they assumed I was and wanted me to be. The scandal was how unfounded those fears were and how pointless that self-beating turned out to be. If I’d just been myself sooner, I would have been a much less stressed-out teenager. And I probably wouldn’t have felt compelled to make some of the bad decisions I made when I first got out on my own.
Youreeeee baaaack yaaay I thought that feedly was screwing with me and wasn't showing me the updates on your blogs (i guess it wasn't screwing with me after all)
Nope - it wasn’t Feedly’s fault (although sometimes I think it does go a little nuts… haha). It was me just skizzing out a bit. But yeah, all better now - unless you count the whole deleting my account thing. But, I’m slowly starting to focus more on the positive side of that thanks to some good advice from a couple of really nice folks here ;-)
They saw the smart, almost nerdy guy who could make them smile with a witty comment or cry with a jabbing barb from his razor-honed tongue. They saw the guy who wasn’t necessary one of the “A list” popular kids, but who certainly wasn’t one of the so-called loser kids, either.
I was outgoing enough to not draw attention, but reserved enough that no one really knew much about me, save for a few close friends. Most people probably thought I was nice enough and I really didn’t have any enemies (which kind of bums me out now - I think a nemesis would have been fun).
They had no idea about my big secret.
Truth be told, I wasn’t “almost nerdy” in high school. I was fully nerdy. I got good grades and was in the advanced placement program and stopped being interested in sports so I could focus on things like research papers and reading literature. Most of my friends were pretty nerdy, too.
Dave was as smart as he was athletic. He played JV football in junior high and ran track in high school at the same time that he was in several academic after-school clubs. In fact, he graduated in the top ten of our class. I was in the top twenty (and yes, he rubbed it in my face relentlessly).
But I was also sort of a jerk in high school. This was especially true my junior and senior years. I mean, you know about “T-Rex” already. And instead of being nice and helping classmates who weren’t that great at math or science, I was an ass and acted like I was too good or too busy to give them a hand. I shoved my good grades in their faces and probably made them feel worse about not “getting” something than they already did.
One guy - a “cowboy” who was a foot taller than me and looked at least five years older - was the sole exception because I thought he was really sexy. We had final period of the day together my junior year and he had PE just before. So he’d come in and collapse back into his chair, unbutton his long-sleeve shirt all the way (because he was a cowboy… it was the only kind of shirt he wore, even in the middle of summer), and sit there with his bare, sweaty body exposed while he cooled off.
I just thought it was the greatest thing ever.
Our teacher would always make him cover it back up when class started, but for a few minutes each day I got to see it and I felt like his skin was a good trade for my help. I’m sure some small part of me also hoped he’d realize he was into smart guys and would want to date me, too. This was my idea of “looking for love” as a kid. Haha. But of course that never happened. He’s married and has a couple of kids now, according to Amalita’s Facebook stalking activities.
Thing is… sometimes I wonder if he actually DID know my big secret… and just used me for help with his schoolwork because he knew I was foaming at the mouth over his body. If so, it’s no doubt what I deserved for being that much of a dick to other people.
Either way, I feel terrible about the way I was to some folks back in high school. It’s always easy to say that after the fact But I really do. Kids are shits. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. That doesn’t excuse my behavior, of course. And luckily the people I was a jerk to never took me all that seriously in the first place.
Looking back I feel like I was probably projecting some internalized shame about my own sexuality. I felt like people would look down on me for being gay so it was alright for me to preemptively look down on them for anything I could. Ridiculous, of course. But most 16 year olds are at least partially ridiculous.
And times were different when I was 16. It’s not easy to be a young gay person today. It was even less easy “back in my day”. I grew up in the south in a small town that was big on football games and factory work and critical of liberalism and “alternative” anything. So it was no wonder I felt ashamed of who I was until I got out of that place and grew up (because it really does get better - really).
The one thing that got me to overlook my own feelings about others and NOT prejudge someone who would probably have judged me: a boy. Of course. Because in addition to being ridiculous, 16 year old boys are also almost universally horny.
Twenty years and a degree in psychology later and I can identify exactly what I was doing by being an asshole to some and nice to the hot cowboy.
It is still one of the biggest regrets from my youth.
(And for the record… Amalita tells me the cowboy is still as hot as ever. Damn it.)
I guess I’m gonna start with the reposting of the first story tonight (sigh). I’ll try the whole “bonus features” thing here and see what ya’ll think. I dunno. I’m just… I dunno… stressed about it. Haha.
You have the worst of luck when it comes to Tumblr haha. I actually started reading your posts a little after the first 'incident', and as to your current dilemma: any method will do, but since you did it the other way, I suggest you FLOOD tumblr.3:)
No joke - worst luck ever when it comes to Tumblr! Haha. At least the first “incident” was intentional. Stupid, but intentional. This one was completely by mistake.
I’m toying around with kind of a “fun” idea for reposting the old stories. I know no one that follows me here wants to read them again because, I mean, come on… that’s a helluva lot of reading. At the same time, I don’t want to turn anyone new off by showering them with an unmanageable amount of reading.
I’m thinking of staggering them like I did before and, at the same time, posting “extra” stuff here that goes along with whatever chapter is going out for the story. More details… a funny related story… “behind the scenes” kind of things. Like the bonus material on a DVD or Blu Ray (does anyone ever watch the bonus material?). Basically, the same kind of things I always posted here before, just timed to coincide with whatever part of the story is going out.
It’ll give me a chance to keep working on the other writing stuff I’m slowly getting back into while not making it so stagnant around here.
Yay? Nay? Sick and tired of this crap? Should I shut up and get a life that doesn’t involve telling stories about my friends? (Probably)
What happened to miles Magnus? And is this why you were inactive for so long:( I was so worried!!
Well, that’s the other thing I lost by accidentally deleting my account, too: the post about turning off Tumblr for a few weeks and taking some time away from writing.
In a nutshell, I just wasn’t “feeling it” as far as writing goes. I couldn’t get as dedicated to Miles Magnus or the zombie story as I wanted to and as I should have been. Soooo… I took a little unannounced break to deal with my mini writing crisis. Haha.
I feel better now, but unfortunately I’m still not feeling Miles Magnus or the zombie story. So even though I said I wouldn’t do it, I ended those two stories. I’m sorry! Don’t be TOO upset with me, although I do deserve a little for sure. (If you want to know how either one was gonna go, shoot me a message and I’ll give you the quick and dirty plot summary… haha)
I’ve got a couple of random short stories I’ll probably share and I AM working on another larger one, but I’m keeping it to myself until I’m sure it’s gonna “stick”. I don’t want another repeat of Miles Magnus and the zombie story.
In the meantime, I should probably start queuing up the first three stories so they can get posted (again… sigh). Haha.
I appreciate the concern, too. And I’m sorry for causing it. I probably should have said something before I vanished, but I honestly just needed a break.
Hopefully you’re not too mad about Miles Magnus! Who knows… maybe you’ll like one of the short stories? (or the big one, should I get around to actually sharing it)
haha let's be positive about it... at least you got it all back... HAHAHA That's a good thing, right?
Partly, yes. I got the URLs back. I had the story written in Google Docs, so no loss there, either.
But I lost all of the comments and reblogs and the messages from people I’d been saving for years (literally). I lost the feedback that meant so much to me. I lost conversations that I can’t have again. All of the asks I’d replied to are gone.
The story itself was only part of what was important to me. The interaction I had with everyone here was the other part.
And I can’t ever get that back.
It’s just ridiculous that it’s 2014 and crap like this is still possible.
Several people sent me very nice messages that I had yet to be able to respond to before I did the big stupid and deleted my whole damn account instead of one empty blog (which is what happens when you try to use the full Tumblr site from Chrome on your phone while laying on the couch in a bit of a whiskey fog). I really did have every intention of writing back once the weekend was over and I had a little free time at work. Yes… I know… free time at work is weird. Haha.
Thank you to everyone who sent me a message. If you didn’t hear back from me, please know it’s not because I didn’t get your message or didn’t care. Tumblr isn’t kidding: when you delete your account, it’s gone forever and there’s no way to get any of it back. I guess I should have had email notifications turned on because at least then I’d have a copy of what was sent (it’s on now… just in case…).
Again, I’m sorry for the disappearing act. I’d say it won’t happen again, but then I said I’d never delete my stories again and look how that turned out. Granted, it was a big accident that I’m kicking myself in the face for. But, yeah… still. Haha.
At any rate, please don’t think I didn’t appreciate the messages. I really, really did. I’m just really, really stupid, too - and now they’re all gone.