Friday, November 12, 2010

Dear Ex-Best Friends

I’ve been thinking a lot about you two lately. I noticed the congratulatory remarks on one of your blog pages about the new baby one of you had, and I’m so glad the challenges he faced during his first few days here on earth are almost done. I think I might be just as excited as you are for him to come home, and am so happy for you and you beautiful, loving, understanding wife.

As for the other one of you, we haven’t talked in a long time, but you and your wife used to read this blog a bit, until you decided I was straying off the gospel path too much. I think you both expected that I would “bear my testimony” every post, spouting the virtues of the church that I loved without ever discussing the darker moments of my life. I hope your young boy is doing well, and that your family is happy and comfortable. I hope this economy hasn’t taken its toll on your jobs, especially with less houses being built and sold (I’d imagine that would affect your work a great deal). I’ve wondered if you have had any other children. I followed your blog religiously until you closed it. I understand your need for privacy, but I’m sad about losing touch.

If you’ll both allow me to reminisce a bit.

Do you remember when I was gay, and we used to walk to junior high school together? Most of the time we would talk about how we were going to take over the school. We planned our lives out like we were always going to be best friends. Most of the time we would talk the entire time, about various subjects, but mostly about intelligence, cybercrime, and espionage. Every now and again the walks home would be in total silence, each of us in our own little worlds. It was always amazing to me how we could be comfortable just thinking together. I think those walks back and forth from school really cemented my self-esteem.

Do you remember when I was gay, and when we went to the store and bought cap guns? These weren’t just any cap guns, but actually looked like glock handguns, and held the caps inside so that they were completely invisible – nothing like those old strip cap guns I used to want as a child. The only problem was that when we bought ours they were bright blue with florescent orange tips, so we went to a hobby shop and purchased black enamel paint. I’m still amazed at how real they looked when we were done.

Do you remember when I was gay and I found my dad’s condoms, and how when I told you guys you each wanted one to “try on.” I snuck you each one by taking apart your guns and hiding one in the stock. I was so afraid that maybe my parents had them counted and wondered what might happen if they realized a few were missing. I figured I’d blame my older sister, but that never was necessary. If they noticed at all they never said anything.

Do you remember when I was gay and we started our own group called ISA? International Spy Agency, was what I think those letters stood for. We had a complete organizational structure, and on nights we would spend at each other’s houses we would go out on secret spying missions by sneaking out of the house and running around the neighborhood at 3am with our glock cap guns in tow. We were even going to go to the state and present a plan as to how having ISA members in schools would help stop crimes and save the state thousands of dollars in prosecuting costs when juveniles were selling drugs or doing other illegal activities on school grounds. We even were successful once, catching three girls smoking weed. All we did was tell a teacher, but it sure made us feel strong and special.

Do you remember when I was gay and one of you moved out of the city, and then back, and how the other one and I convinced you that we had actually gotten state approval for ISA, and we had a headquarters behind Winder Dairy? We actually played it up so well you followed us all the way up the street, all dressed in camouflage. When we finally reached the Winder Dairy gate a car drove by and asked us what we were doing. I was pretty freaked out that they were going to call the cops over our prank – we had to have looked pretty suspicious.

Do you remember when I was gay and we built the second level to the clubhouse? That was ISA’s secret base and we kept saving our money to be able to afford an alarm on the second level door so that we could keep one of your sister’s out. She was pretty funny, always wanting to know what we were up to.

Do you remember when I was gay and we started our own boy band? We would sing around an old Packard Bell computer to N’Sync, Backstreet Boys, and our favorite group – Five. That didn’t last too long though, because our voices started to change and none of us could sing very well.

Do you remember when I was gay and we used to get the whole neighborhood to play night games with us at the church across the street from one of your houses? There was one time we put on all our camo and hid by laying down right in the middle of the grass. No one ever found us hiding in plain sight, but I remember one time when, after lying face down in the grass for over an hour, my allergies went crazy and my throat closed up and I had trouble breathing.

Do you remember when I was gay, and I told you about how I literally thought your friendship had saved my life? I was having a hard time with my mom, and with being gay (although you didn’t know that part), and was seriously considering suicide. This was perhaps the only time, and the only day where I actually was thinking about going through with it. But instead, you called me up, and invited me down to your house to rollerblade – perhaps our favorite pastime when we weren’t spying on people. After roller blading we spent the night at the other one’s house, and you planned with me how I could run away from home. Those plans were stupid and never materialized, but I really appreciated the fact that you were both so concerned for me.

Do you remember when I was gay and we set up the tent in the backyard and slept outside? Maybe I shouldn’t say any more about that night.

Do you remember a few years later when I was gay, and you told me that it was too hard being friends with me because I couldn’t go out with you on the weeknights? You mentioned that my mom was too strict, and because of that you started to push me out of your circle. That hurt my feelings quite a bit, because I had no control over when my family let me out of the house. But that didn’t last very long. After just a few months each of you came back to me, and we formed individual friendships stronger than our threesome ever was.

Do you remember I was gay and you both had a falling out over the same girl? One of you ended up marrying her. I was one of the groomsmen in your wedding. You didn’t have enough money to rent a tux for me, but I told you not to worry about it, that I would foot the bill, because your day needed to be special. It really was a beautiful wedding.

Do you remember when I was gay and I was at the other wedding too? I drove your sister to the store so we could get things to decorate your car, and talked to your step-dad the whole reception about his job up on the base so that he would stay out of your hair. He even accused me of being in love with your sister because we had spent so much time together that day, and he claimed that I was looking at her like I desired her. That was an awkward conversation, particularly because it wasn’t true, but I definitely felt a renewed friendship with your sister that day, and didn’t have a problem taking heat from your step-dad over it. I knew if he was belittling me he wouldn’t have the chance to belittle you.

Do you remember when I was gay and I came to visit one of you in Colorado. We went skiing and ended up in a huge blizzard that was the worst blizzard Colorado had seen in decades. We were really afraid we were going to end up stranded, and had planned to drive back together to SLC. We made it thanks to your company truck, but only ended up skiing one time down the hill, and had to drive the skis all the way back to Salt Lake because the place we rented them in Colorado closed.

Do you remember when I was gay and I finally told you both? The one I expected to have the hardest time with it had a wife that was kind and understanding. She helped you understand what I was going through, and I was surprised when you hugged me the first time you saw me after that. I was grateful that even though you knew, you weren’t afraid of me. The other one didn’t take the news so well at all, and it even got worse when I found my partner and started making a life with him.

I suppose my point is that although we have all grown in different directions, I have to admit a part of me is surprised that it was the gay issue that drove us apart and made you both see me as an enemy to your families, especially because during all those years, I was gay. It didn’t matter then, because you didn’t know. I’m disappointed that knowing changed your opinion of me so.

Do you remember when I was gay, and out, and you told me that you were afraid for your family because of me? I think that is the last time we spoke. It isn’t because I’m angry or sad or that I don’t want to talk. It isn’t that I don’t miss our friendship. It’s because I’m respecting your wishes. The one thing I refuse to be blamed for is splitting up your family. So if I stand back and watch you both from a distance only, if your families fall apart you can’t blame that on me. If they do, I’ll be here ready to be your friend and help you pick up the pieces. If they don’t I’ll celebrate with you all of your successes.

And I won’t expect anything in return, not even your friendship…

…because I have had plenty of friends who have stood by me, who have adopted me into their families, and who have let our friendship be more powerful than lies, misinformation, and fear.


MoHoHawaii said...


[They don't deserve you.]

Original Mohomie said...

I really appreciate the thoughts in this post and the fact that you voiced it.

From their standpoint, I'd guess something did change: you stopped repressing and/or hiding your homosexuality, and you chose to act on it. Maybe they felt it coming even before you did it, which caused them to want to withdraw. Maybe they believe, as so many do, that being gay is OK as long as you live 'straight'. Maybe they don't reject you for who you are as much as what you've chosen, even if what you've chosen is a kind of authenticity which has brought happiness you can't (and don't have to) describe or justify to them.

Either way, it's tough, but you seem to be dealing well.

yeti said...

Wow. Thank you for sharing this.