For the next week we have a Talk every single day.
Sometimes twice a day, or sometimes just a short one, but every day it’s “have you thought about This”, or worse “I just can’t get around That” (“Here’s a mistake you made”, “Here’s another reason I won’t accept you”).
I am constantly tense, smiling and chatting and always waiting for the next ambush. Because that’s what it feels like: a leisurely walk until they head me off at the pass or finally lull me into a sense of security.
And in a way, I think that is what they’re doing. They want me to be relaxed, in an accepting frame of mind, to know I’m loved before they start talking. It’s a good thing— I guess— but, I feel like a gunslinger approaching high noon, every hour of the day. Like a stalked animal, alone in the tall grass.
The stress is bad enough that I’m constipated, another exciting new first I’ve never experienced. And the only place I can get away from everything is, conveniently, the bathroom.
I hide in there, alone, behind a locked door, and the only way I can get myself to go back out is to imagine, vividly, that my boyfriend, or God, or Jessica, is telling me I can do this, that it’s going to be OK, that I can make it.
Because my parents keep saying “Hell is hot and eternity’s long”, and it’s a joke, it’s a quote from an old sermon they both know (“Hell is hot, and eternity’s long… don’t go blowing your brains out”). Just a joke.
But it doesn’t feel like a joke. And it doesn’t take a genius to know what it means, or where it leaves me, dancing on the edge of a lake of eternal fire, maybe already fallen in and burning.
A damned little gay boy.
I seize every break I can get, going away with my college roommates for the weekend, (thank God for that, thank God for them). Going to Bend to visit my older sister and my best friend, trying not to leave my room in the mornings, pretending I’m sleeping in, when really I woke up at 7, and I just can’t bear to go out, staying in here, alone with my imaginary boyfriend or the journal I’m writing all this down in.
I have no idea what my life is going to look like. How I’m going to interact with my parents, if I’m ever really going to come home again. If I’m ever really going to come home like this.
I don’t think I will. I don’t think I can.