Hey Sean. You don't know me. I'm not creeping on you. I just need someone to talk to. I've been dating girls for a long time – not the same one, just I've dated. But I'm starting to get sus of myself. I'm NOTICING my guy friends. THINKING about them. I thought you might understand. Please don't try to find me. You don't even have to answer. I just need someplace for my thoughts to go besides my own head.
Hey Sean, me again. Sorry for the weird message. I guess maybe this IS creepy. I can't really help that. Sometimes I think this is a good idea and I'll get new ways of looking at stuff. My uncle tells me he likes to work collaboratively, and talking to other people is like a sounding board for him. He says some things sound okay in your head, but when you let them out into the world they sound like what they really are and you can make a better judgment about them. I guess I was hoping that would work for me. Maybe not for everyone?
Hey you. I don't know what to call you besides 'me' and that sounds like I'm talking to myself. I don't think you're one of my friends screwing with me. You haven't really expressed any ideas so I think sounding boards only work if you bounce ideas off them? I don't know?
Yeah, you have a point. I thought maybe you know what I'm going through, since you're dating a guy now but you dated girls before. I guess? I'm just starting to feel like that part of my life wasn't very real. Did you feel like that?
God that was stupid, don't answer that.
Not stupid at all. Whatever you feel is what you feel. Emotions don't have rules – no logic. Like when you think someone would be sad, they might just be numb or their brain can't handle it, so they don't. Same if you think something makes someone happy.
Point. I keep going back and forth.
Like I wonder if I was ever really attracted to the girls I dated.
I remember being excited for a first date and stuff, but I'm starting to feel like I was just pretending.
First dates are exciting, I think you'd be weird if you didn't feel excited. Or nauseous or something It makes sense if you're starting to realize girls may not be your thing. It's not like you swap from dating one gender to the other without stopping and asking yourself what's going on. Right?
Whoa. I'm not dating any guys. I'm just saying I've been realizing, or I'm thinking that maybe I'm gay. Or I could be. Guys look better than I remember. Maybe. I don't know.
Maybe. Maybe you're bi. Maybe you're straight leaning female, or straight leaning male. It's all a spectrum, man. Don't put labels on yourself you're not ready for or that don't feel like they fit.
That's just it. Right now, where no one but you can see it or inside my head, I'm gay. My girlfriend of three months? I don't care about kissing her or holding her or anything like that. I mean, when I do it still feels nice, but now it feels like...greasy? Like I'm fooling her and I'm doing something I don't really want to? But I do because we're dating and because I don't hate it?
I get what you're saying, even though I didn't feel that way. I think I'm Bi, leaning female. My boyfriend just happens to be one of those exceptions. I don't find a lot of guys attractive – or maybe I mean I'm not into them. There are probably other guys out there in the world, just not that many. I've seen a few vids where gay guys talk about how straight boys have upped their game and stuff. Guys can look nice without me being into them, you know?
So. Was it different? First time you kissed a guy? I'm guessing it's different.
Different is a big word, I've discovered. I have a lot of friends, gay, straight and places in-between. One friend who I'm told kisses like it's an attack. When my brother kisses his boyfriend it's like seeing something truly special and indescribable happen in front of you. Everyone kisses different. Some people have soft lips. Some people really need to invest in chap-stick. Some people put strawberry shit all over their lips and it gets on your tongue and all you taste for the next twenty minutes is some waxy fake-strawberry shit that doesn't really taste like strawberry and someone should do something about that.
Did you have Graber for Biology? Hate. Her.
I did. I didn't mind her. She seems to think her class is the most important one, but I'm starting to figure out most teachers think that. So you're in 10th, huh?
Sorry, I guess I broke the rule. It just seemed...obvious that if you had Graber, you were a soph. I wasn't trying to figure who you were.
It's not your fault, but I freaked. I don't know why exactly I'm not sure I want anyone to know about me yet. My parents wear red hats. I don't think anyone here would understand or accept me. I'm not sure how to feel about that. Sometimes it's scary. Sometimes it makes me angry.
That sucks hard. My family has always been pretty accepting of whoever we are – my extended family, too. My boyfriend came out of an 'abusive environment' – that's what my therapist calls it. But if you heard what happened in that house – hell is all I can think of to call it. If you don't feel safe, you're right to be cautious.
I've erased this a few times, but thank you for texting back. After being a freak in my own head, it's kind of a relief to talk to you.
I got you, bro.
I swear Graber hates me. I'm going to fail, and if I fail my dad's going to kick my ass.
Literally. He has a belt in his closet that actually has my name on it for when I fuck up.
That is seriously not okay. I can call someone for you, or even show up. Let me help you.
No. Nobody can help me.
Not if you don't let anyone try. How close are you to failing? Do you still have work you can make up?
Dude. Answer me.
This isn't cool. Let me help you.
Sorry, got my phone taken by Graber, she saw I was texting. Bitch. I don't know how you can possibly help me. She gave me some stuff, told me to look on the class e-board for anything I was missing and she'd give me some credit. I think I'm fucked.
Okay, here's what we do. You get on the phone with me and we'll do the work together. I'll have my BF for backup in case I don't know the answers, but between the three of us, we'll get it done.
I don't know.
Do you have any friends that could or would do the work with you?
I have friends, I'm not a loser.
So will they help you?
Probably. Not. I have to do some work at home, text later – I'm not swerving you.
I hate yard work. My dad says I should be able to appreciate what things look like when I'm done, but I don't really care about cut grass or trimmed bushes. At least not the ones in my front yard.
Did you just lol
So what about your friends helping?
Yeah, I've been thinking about that. I mean, what else are you going to do if you're doing yard work before the snow flies? I swear my dad thinks the lawn has to look good even when it's buried under snow. Who cares if there are leaves under the snow? Why rake before? They'll still be there in the spring. WTF?
It's a middle-aged dad thing. So, your friends?
I have two that are pretty good friends. But pretty much everyone I call a friend is someone I know through sports.
You make friends where you are. If you were into gaming, your friends would probably be gamers.
Facts. I think I'm figuring out I like one of my two friends more for how he looks than how good a friends we are. Like, okay, one friend is not attractive to me, but he's a cool person. He kind of stinks at sports, but his parents keep sending him so he won't get fat. They're obsessed with his weight, I don't know why. They're fat, so maybe that's why?
Medical reason maybe?
No clue. I like him, but only as a friend. The other guy, we get along real well, but he's also pretty nice looking.
It's okay to have attractive friends. Doesn't mean they aren't real friends.
Doesn't that make things weird? I check him out sometimes. It's hard not to.
As long as you're not making him uncomfortable, no, nothing wrong with it. People check out other people all day long – most of the time, other people never know. It'd be cool if you got a notification on your phone at the end of the day just to tell you how many people checked you out that day. I could go for a stat like that lol
LOL. What if it was a low number? People would get all butt-hurt that not enough people noticed them. Like this country isn't already a bunch of douches trying to get everyone to look at them.
Yeah, there are those people. Anyway, will these two friends help you out?
The first one might, but we'd end up just laughing at stupid stuff. I think I'd be kind of distracted if the second said yes. I don't act like a complete clown around him, but it's hard not to notice him.
So when is the deadline for turning in the stuff?
So you have practice or anything tomorrow? I'll get Ash and we'll help you get caught up. I mean, unless you want to try asking your crush
You're evil. Of course I want to ask him. Maybe I will ask him.
Let me know
He's busy. Going out with his gf
Ouch. Sorry bro, tough break. What time tomorrow?
I don't know.
I mean this shouldn't bother me. I know he's straight. I've gone on group dates where he's with this girl, but now their all official. I don't even feel jealous, just empty.
I get that. It sucks ass when they don't like you back the way you want. I learned sign language to talk to a girl I liked and she moved before I could try – talk about messed up!
LOL, yeah but she wasn't moving because of you.
You don't know.
I don't know. I texted my other friend. He says he'll come help. If it bombs out, I'll let you know. That cool?
Hey. I'm figuring you're in bed or busy – maybe both at once. Sorry to text, you don't even have to read it I'm just thinking too much. My girlfriend – what I'm feeling right now, I'm like, we shouldn't be together. I know I don't want to be in this with her, and it's not fair to her. Not like we were going to get married, but we don't really have any future at all. I mean, maybe as friends.
But tomorrow is her birthday. I'll be there with my friends, and even though I plan to break up with her – I'd be a major douche to do it then, right? It's her day. I want her to have a good day. Yeah, seeing it in writing confirms it – it would be a douche move. I'll wait until next week.
First I am never telling you if I'm busy in bed. Second I think you're right, douche move. Third, did you get the work done?
Um. Some of it. My friend, F, he's a fucking weirdo and makes me laugh. I got some done, but I have more to do. Busy Sunday? If I get stuck?
Yeah, I'll be around. Better if you give me a time.
I'll let you know.
DUDE. So I went to my Gfs party, right? My friends F and J were there with me. So last night I was thinking about breaking up, deciding that would be being a douche and not wanting to ruin her day, try to let her have a good day. You know what this bitch did? She BROKE up with me in front of everyone at her party, then she hit on J right after – he's got a gf, remember? And he slapped her down. He's like you don't dump my boy and ask me out, nah, honey!
So I'm single and my boy had my back. I mean, fuck her, right? Talk about a douche move. F & J are coming over to stay the night, I'll text tomorrow. Want to call maybe about three?
Sure. Glad the drama is over, kind of shitty way to do it. Glad he's the friend you thought he was.
CRINGEY. Fuck, this is BAD. Dude, are you there? Please say you're there.
I'm here. What's wrong?
Dude. I just came out. It was so awkward and I'm sitting in my bathroom hiding from my friends. I'm so fucking – I don't even know.
Okay. Deep breath, buddy. Tell me everything.
I can't. I mean I CAN, but I can't. Dude, I'm such a fuck up.
Nah. Tell me.
It's like this. Okay so Me, F and J are in my room playing on the console. We have some junk food, soda, crap like that. We've been talking all night, and for a while it was about Georgia, my ex.
Shit. Forget her name, okay? Shit.
Hey. I'm not trying to find you, but if I knew who you were it's not like I'd be trying to out you. I get that you're scared, but don't be a dick to me because of it.
I'm not being a dick! I'm just not wanting my business everywhere!
I've been where you are. The whole 'it's my business' thing usually comes down to being embarrassed. You don't have to feel like that with me unless you want to, and appreciate it if you didn't treat every crumb you reveal as if I'm putting a puzzle together to post up in the school caf. I'm not the fucking enemy.
Forgiven. Now continue.
Yeah. So we were talking about my ex, F was pretending to be her and kind of repeating what she'd said, but so much worse – making up saying things about me and stuff. Then he starts acting all like he's into J – but pretending to be her, you know? It was funny as fuck right up until J said not to act like a faggot.
Ouch. Does he say stuff like that a lot?
Not a lot. J is popular, good athlete, gets good grades. He's like the model for a successful kid or something. I'm not dogging him too hard about saying it, I guess I'm just more pissed about it now.
One thing I'll say before moving on – I hope you spend some brain time on how something doesn't matter unless it affects you. I don't use the N word, or as your friend did, the F word. I don't even say Queer because I know it really does hurt some people, even though it's more common now.
But okay, so your friend said that and what happened?
Yeah. He said that and I got quiet at first and then, kind of too late, I said something like would you not use that word. I mean it was lame because I didn't say it when he said it, I kind of threw it in after it was done. You know? It brought more attention I think, so then that turns into them both asking me why. I mean, F was like yeah, word isn't cool, we should watch it. J was like, yeah, my bad – but why do you say that now?
Props for your boys. What did you say?
I tried to play it off, just that we were bros and didn't need to say that kind of shit. They wouldn't just let it go, F especially. He was trying to be funny and asking whose dick I wanted and J was laughing. They were trolling my ass, and when J repeated Fs question about whose dick I yelled his. Like, I admitted to liking him.
Okay, so that clarifies that you're definitely out and you can't play it off because now you're hiding in the bathroom from your friends.
Yeah. Literally. WTF do I do?
Way I see it you have two options. Either you stay in the bathroom until they leave – which if they are douches, maybe they already left. Or you go back to your room and talk it out. It might – will probably – be uncomfortable. It's not exactly like admitting you liked a girl and she found out, because your questioning your sexuality was a secret, but it's pretty close. I'll stay awake just in case for whatever you decide.
Well. I DO like this bathroom.
Enough to live in it for the night?
Fuck. I really cocked this one up.
On the other hand, it's a legendary coming out story
Okay. J knocked on the door. I'm going back. Thanks for being there.
I got you.
Dude, not sure if you didn't blow my phone up because you didn't care or because you were giving me some space to work shit out with my bros. Best guess is you let me work it out, and I appreciate it. Would have been harder with my phone going off. Sorry for this wall of text coming at you, but I'm just going to type it all out.
It was tense, not gonna lie. Fern – that's F, his last name is Fernandez – he said he was sus I was Bi for a little bit. At first I was kind of pissed he was thinking that about me, and it took a while for me to figure out that's why we were talking. Kind of stupid I guess.
So J – we call him Jo because his last name is Johanssen – he said he was surprised and felt a little weird that he didn't know or never thought about it. At first it was super weird between us, but it got a lot worse when he started to ask if I've thought about kissing him and stuff.
He told me he was weirded out because we were friends and he didn't expect it, but that we were bros and that means we don't let anything come between us – we work it out. He was straight out – no jokes – saying how he doesn't think of me like that, but that he doesn't want it to come between us. He said me and Fern are his bros because of how we are there for each other and how his home life is shit, which I don't think I really knew.
Like he told us how his mom drinks and how he has to clean her up a lot. He never has us to his house because he is embarrassed. I guess she's also kind of like a hoarder but like for food that doesn't really go bad, so his basement has racks of food that no one will ever – or would want – to eat. He said he appreciates that Fern and me don't ever question how come we don't stay over at his house or how come he doesn't ask us over. He feels bad about it and he's wondered if we resent that sometimes – and I didn't know he felt like that or that, you know, he was dealing with that.
I feel for him, man. I've never seen him look so fucking small. Fern told him how he didn't know any of that, but that we'd always be there for him. Fern's family is the shit – his mom cooks stuff from where she grew up in Mexico and it seems like there is no end! When we stay over there she feeds us so much food and it's fucking good eats, man.
Anyway. Fern told me he has no right to care about who I want to be with, except as a friend he thought Jo was a bad fit for me on account of he was straight and wouldn't treat me right. Jo told him to go fuck himself, then he told me in the end that was where he came down, too. He told me he'd kick my ass if I started to back off or be weird about hanging out because of a crush, and you know, in some ways that was truly hot, but in another way I totally don't feel the same way to him.
Like I feel closer to him and he's still hot, but he's also more important because it's not just me with a crush. He needs me as his friend because of his life and I guess I didn't realize I was important to him. Does that make sense to you? Still my crush, but I don't feel crippled with embarrassment about it.
They trolled me a little about liking Jo, but then they trolled each other - and I jumped in – on girls they like. By the time we went to sleep things were pretty normal for us. So not the way I'd have liked them to find out, but I think it'll work out.
Okay, that was the end.
Cool story, bro. Ready to finish that work so you don't get in trouble?
Really, bro? You're going to do me like that?
Nah. It might sound weird to say I'm proud of you, but I kind of am. It took balls to go back in your room and face a stressful situation with people you really care about – and I don't mean having a crush. They are your friends. Some people like to claim blood is the only way you get family, but I disagree. Even the people I live with that are my family don't share my blood, not 100%. Ash is part of my family. I have friends that are part of my family. I have people I don't really know that well who are my family and I know that because they'd come running to help me if I needed it.
I say that because I don't piss on how strong bonds can be between people who don't share blood. I don't know if how you guys feel about each other will change – it probably will. Everything changes, but that doesn't mean it has to be a bad thing. You guys all sound like people worth knowing.
Thanks. I don't know what else to say. Glad you were there to talk to.
NP. Now. That work?
Ugh. Give me five and I'll call you. Slavedriver.
Now listen here you little shit.
Hey, thanks for the help. I mean, it's all done now but I'm kind of getting the vibe I was teaching you.
Oh? Well, next time you can do it yourself.
Let's not be hasty! You clearly need the help. Kidding! Thanks.
Hey so I'm going home. I turned in all the work, but since it wasn't for full credit, I didn't pass.
Will you be safe?
Like will he beat the shit out of me? I don't know.
I don't understand that. First, you need a plan – you should never be in a situation that's unsafe. How can I find you if shit goes south?
Um. You're giving me some next level creeps, man. But you haven't been wrong. Here's Jo and Fern's numbers. DO NOT CALL THEM unless it's a legit emergency.
Whatever. Why is your dad like this?
First off, he's not my dad.
My parents divorced when I was like six.
Mom got remarried, she never talks about my dad except for when she says I act just like him. Feels bad, you know?”
So mom tells me I have to call this guy dad and I'm like six so I do it. I say it, but he's not my dad.
His parents are assholes, I think that's where he gets it from. He had a daughter when he married my mom and she gets EVERYTHING. The little bitch asks, daddy buys. She does shit like breaks her phone and blames me and daddy buys her a new one and punishes me, and I'm like standing there wondering WTF happened.
Call me if you have to get out. I'll keep the phone by me.
I'm going to call Fern if I don't hear from you in like 30 mins
Fuck it, calling Fern.
Hey. Um, you there?
Yeah. How are you?
Sore. Okay, I guess.
Fern's mom seemed great.
She is. Her husband says I can stay here and she's like 'of course he's staying, gtfo!'
Good, man. You need people in your corner.
I guess there's an investigation on my parents, not sure how that all works.
Ash has been in the system, I can ask him if you want.
In a minute.
I just gotta say
I don't know if he'd a killed me, but your phone call was just in time.
WTF did he do to you?
Fern didn't tell you?
You've been very private. I don't even know your name, but you told me your friends' names. When I called Fern's number I'm like 'hey, your friend that just came out might be getting beat by his dad. Let me talk to your mom'.
I didn't call him back. I wanted to know if you were okay, but I didn't want to put your friend in the middle and ask him for information on you.
You're better than I am, then. I think I'd have called Fern a million times for updates, but you've really been respectful. I guess I've been stupid and untrusting.
We all trust when we're ready. Some of us have good reasons for being slow to trust. I wasn't so sure about you when you started texting, but I figured as long as I didn't say anything to you that I wouldn't mind anyone in the world knowing, it would be okay. If this texting with you was a sick joke of some kind, then I didn't say anything I wouldn't normally.
So I talked to Fern, told him I was worried about his friend that just came out to him and that I needed to talk to his mom to get her to check on you. I figured if you weren't texting me, you might not be able to text Fern either.
Fern's mom did mention your first name, trying to make sure who I was talking about. I had to tell her I didn't know, just that you and I were texting and your step-dad was angry.
Well, I guess I'm just lame. Doesn't matter now, I guess. My name is Bryce Norwood. Thank you for being there for me.
I got you.
Ash is right, you're a dork
Whatever. Nice to meet you today. Your friends were cool.
Jo was like another gay guy? Are you dating? Do you talk about me?
And I'm like yeah, bro! Talk about pimping your ass out! LOL
OMG, that's so bad. Why are you so mean to him? Lol
He likes it. They thought you guys were cool, though. Going to go watch Fern try to learn to make tamales from his mom. He's a train wreck with everything so this should be good.
Never, ever eat a tamale Fern makes! I don't know what he did but me, Fern and Jo have been trading crapping our brains out.
Noted – accept nothing cooked by Fern.
My asshole is on fire.
Jo said I should get used to it. I think he's making a sex joke, but it's not very good.
LOL I'm laughing so hard I can't breathe
Don't breathe here! You light a match and this place is going up!
Ash says you're gross and ROFLMFAO
Okay, my night has been weird. So Jo stayed over and we're all crammed in Ferns' room. About eleven this girl is texting Jo and we're all reading the messages.
So then Fern starts texting her and her friend starts texting Fern, and another one is texting me. I don't even know how I got involved.
So that happened for a little while and then we started talking about the girl messaging Jo. Fern says he'd like to kiss her, and Jo's like go for it.
So we got loud and Fern's mom told us to go to sleep. It took a little while, but we tried and then Fern falls asleep – he's always the first – and he lets out this massive fart.
And I mean like you could see a gas cloud lifting his blanket up. And it was RANK
So me and Jo went downstairs and out on the back patio for some air and so us laughing didn't get us in trouble. Fern's mom caught us in the hall, but when we explained she totally understood.
So we got outside and laughed a little about it, made some jokes about Fern's cooking and stuff. I don't know why I brought it up, but I asked Jo if he was into that girl who was texting him.
And okay, I can read your mind and maybe I had an idea why I was asking him, but it wasn't because I was trying to start something. So he says no he doesn't like her, but he kind of likes this girl Cindy or Mindy or something.
So we're just talking, you know? All started from that text but how like we'd kissed these girls and how a couple of them we'd both kissed – not at the same time, perv.
I won't lie, I was thinking he was edging close to offering my first guy kiss. Especially when he asked me if I thought I'd remember the first guy like we do the first girl – like, the first person and if it'd be different to kiss a guy – like would it feel different. I figure you do because it's a big thing, right?
But then then he started talking more about his mom and how he'll come home from school and she's passed out on the couch or how she does things that can be dangerous – like she started a kitchen fire trying to cook while she was drunk. Jo wears a cross, but I never really thought much about it – a lot of people do, but I guess it doesn't mean the same thing to them like it does for people who like church, right?
So he's telling me how his parents have all these problems between them and how they won't divorce because God doesn't want them to – and then he was crying. Then I was hugging him and feeling like such shit for him. I mean I've thought about holding him and stuff, but not like that.
So when you wake up or something, what do you think? G'night.
So I think you totally deserved the cloud of death from Fern and I'm glad I wasn't there.
As far as Jo goes, I'm the last guy to say it could never happen. When Ash first told me he was into me it didn't change who I was or the gender I was interested in. Over time that did change, but it brought a lot of soul-searching and there was a lot of drama and hurt feelings – and I caused a fair amount of it just trying to find out if I could feel that way for another guy.
I don't know if Jo could ever feel for you the way you do for him, but he seems like he has a lot going on. Be the guy he needs you to be – his friend. And that, my friend, is love. You do what they need, not what you want.
As far as symbols go like the cross – yeah, some people have different ideas about what it means to them. Problem is – and I say this as someone that goes to church – the cross comes with some baggage. I think it's a good idea to be cautious of people who wear that symbol until you know more about them and their brand of religion.
Hey, just woke up. Not what I was hoping to hear, not going to lie – but you make sense. I don't want to twist him up in knots. But answer me this – is it different to kiss a guy?
I think of people as surrounded by a fog they can't see. Things in the world are hard to figure out, so we squint through the fog and take our best guess. Sometimes we trust ourselves too much, sometimes too little, but we're almost always not completely right or wrong. When I kissed girlfriends before it was pretty sweet, tbh. Most of the time. There was this one girl who kind of left my chin dripping with spit like I was starving or something and that was gross. Outside of that, kissing is pretty sweet.
LMAO Gross, and legit – I think we kissed related girls.
But when Ash kisses me, it hits different. It's like his light and warmth melt that fog and I see one true thing clearly for the first time. It's what our pastor would call 'a revelatory experience', but not quite the way he'd envision :-) So I don't know if it's all guys, I've only kissed one, but for me it's because it's him.
Like some people can't kiss, note above. But the first guy you kiss – like let's even say it was Jo last night – maybe his teeth scrape your tongue and you get a cut or you guys bounce off each others gums or crush noses so that a snot squirts down. Anything could ruin the moment, and then Jo would be like 'kissing guys sucks' and you might be like 'okay, no need to kiss Jo'.
So some guys will kiss pretty well, some guys will suck at it – just like girls. But when the right one kisses you, you'll know it and you'll remember it.
Damn. Is Ash taking applications? Jk
You better be, punk
So I have to go to counseling with my parents.
Not a bad thing. Counseling I mean.
I'm not the problem, though.
But you're a product of your environment. Last thing you want to do is treat anyone like your step-dad does, right? But you learn things from him without meaning to.
I dunno bro. Seems sus.
Why would I lie?
Well the counselor got to see my dad being an asshole and my mom backing him up
Really? Not a good session, Huh?
Not in terms of their goals, which is to get us all living together again which I don't really want.
Not really fair to Fern's parents.
They like me.
Easy to like someone you don't live with. Someone you can get away from or send home. Not saying they don't like you, just saying things can be different in close quarters for a long time.
How do you know?
My near-twin and I shared a room for a few years. We were really close, even though we didn't grow up together. Eventually though, we needed our own space. Togetherness is sometimes best in smaller doses.
So what are you saying?
Do the work in therapy, you only get out what you put into it. If it doesn't work out, don't let it be because you didn't try.
idk. He's such a dick and my mom backs him up.
I hear you, and that's fucked. Let me ask you this way – do you want to be like your step-dad in any way?
Is your step-dad trying in therapy?
You think you're smart, don't you?
You see my point, then. Do it for you, not them.
Incoming text wall.
First my mom called this morning before school and accused me of breaking up her marriage, telling me I'm the problem and if only I were a good son none of this would be happening. I hung up and she was texting like it was her job.
So I got into a huge fight with her. I was pretty angry and Fern's mom made me screen shot the chat and send it to her, she's calling my social worker and therapist. Then a bunch of Fern's family came over today – it's some saint's day or something, Fern wasn't even sure because he doesn't seem to care much even though he wears a cross on a necklace. So it wasn't just some of Fern's family, but a few people they know from church or something – I'm not totally clear on that 'cause they didn't go to church this week and I – I should ask Fern, but I haven't. He tells me everything anyway, I'll just wait.
So two weird things. First this girl was being friendly with me and Fern straight up tells her to 'back off, he's gay'. I wasn't sure how to feel about that. I mean, he blew my cover but that's kind of the point, right? Not to get back into something I don't want to be in? But I was still kind of frosty about it.
So she totally turned that around and was first being like oh you have to be my new GBF and come meet my old one, you guys will look great together. So she yanks me over to this dude who is about a foot taller than me, and after she introduces us he does this thing where he looks me up and down and just says 'Nah'.
I'm like WTF, right? Ended up not liking the dude at all, in case that wasn't obvious, but who does that?
What do I mean? I mean is the text wall over? I wanted to make sure you were done before I started texting back.
What's a GBF?
Gay Best Friend
That's a thing? Never dealt with that, but don't have to be friends with anyone you don't like and certainly not because of your sexuality.
I'm not sure who that guy was, but gay people are like every other group – there are nice people, people you will like and those you won't. Some are d-bags and addicts and some are super sweet and worth your time. Gay doesn't automatically mean good, evil, cute or ugly. Sounds like you met a crappy person is all.
He still told me to give him my Snap and Insta. I'm like....nah. LOL
LOL, nice. About your mom...I'm so sorry. Obviously I'm here for you. I have only the tiniest idea of what you're talking about from the little Ash has told me about his mom – she up and left him with a neglectful father.
I don't think about it, not a lot. You think that's normal?
Ash says he did that about his mom leaving. His therapist told him his mind maybe tried to protect him, especially since he didn't have answers. I don't know why your mom is how she is, but one thing I have definitely learned is that her behavior isn't about you. It's about her. If she says her life or her marriage would be better if you did something or acted some way, that's on her.
I mean you're not out setting fires and molesting people so it's not like it causes that much drama at home. It sounds like she has a need for something from a husband and she picked poorly.
I have to go help Fern's mom clean up. TTYL.
Bro. This dude from the party at Fern's won't stop messaging me. I didn't even give him my handle.
Block him. What does he want?
I'm not totally sure, but he won't STFU and go away. I didn't like his attitude and he wasn't cute or anything, not enough to deal with his attitude.
I'd block him and move on. One of my friends had a guy sending him all kinds of kinky shit, changing numbers and stuff to keep it up because he had it in his head this was how you flirted. You don't need that shit in your life, unless you just like the attention. Do you like the attention? Well do you, punk?
Fuck you. I blocked him. Why are you so mean to me, dork?
Yeah yeah. What are you doing?
Science. I'm falling behind. Fern and Jo are no help.
Come over. Me and Ash will help. I think Boomer is good at science, I'll see if he's busy. We'll do homework and chill.
But you don't have my homework – wait, nope, never mind. I'm bringing my bros since their grades suck, let's do this.
Did you eat the tamales?
No. I'm convinced they are leftovers from Fern's attempts.
Fern's mom, bro. You think I'd do you like that?
I KNOW you'd do me like that.
Me and Fern are sleeping over at Jo's. His family is having a reunion or something so we're helping them set things up. Not sure how that works out with Jo's alky mom, but we'll be there just in case.
Bro. I'm freaking out. One of Jo's cousins is seriously hitting on me and he's cute as. He's fucking bold, too. First he acts all dorky and asks if he can buy me a slice of cake, which he has with him. He finishes up by saying he thinks I'm cute and asks me out. He talked to me for like fifteen minutes and he's all we should date. WTF?
Bro. Are you there?
Sean. Swear to God Bro, don't ignore me now.
I got you. So what did you say?
IDK. What do I say? I feel like such a fuck up. What do I say when we talk and our families come up?
You can just say family life is complicated right now and you don't want to get into it right away. No matter what you do some people will see a red flag if your home life is unstable, but no one has a right to know or to pry. If he likes you, he should give you the benefit of the doubt and get to know you before judging you.
So you think I should go out with him? Like...coffee or something? Movies? Strip club? Come on! Give me something to work with!
LOL, you're cute when you're all worked up.
Shut your hole. This isn't funny. I'm seriously worked up. BRO.
Okay, I'm sorry, I got you. So I'm guessing this guy isn't standing right next to you?
Some lady called him over to talk to someone – I don't know any of these people.
Okay. Jo probably does. His party, guy is your age, ask him about this guy.
JFC why didn't I think of that?
Jo's dad grabbed us to help with a mess – someone knocked over one of the tables with silverware and stuff on it. Good thing it's all plastic. Jo's mom is drunk and I think everyone can tell. Jo's looking stressed. I'm outside the bathroom, he went in a minute ago but he looked like he was going to cry.
People suck. How is he?
He was crying. I knocked on the door and he asked if it was just me, and by then it was me and Fern. He let us in. Jo's got long hair, you saw. He was really worked up and his hair was sticking to his face, and then he just turned and threw up in the toilet. Mostly. I felt like a meme, holding his hair back while he threw up. He got so upset he threw up. I just keep thinking that.
Jesus, poor kid.
We're in his room now. He laying down and I'm just rubbing his back. I'm so pissed at his mom.
If she's an alcoholic then she's an addict. She needs help, but some people aren't able to ask or don't realize there is a problem. Set her and your anger to the side. Jo's where you can do the most good, so just take care of him.
Hey. So Jo napped a little, he feels better. We went downstairs and got him some ginger ale and let his dad know he's all right. He didn't know Jo was missing, not really. He'd wanted some help with something and he couldn't find us, but figured we were playing somewhere. He came up to see Jo and they talked in his room.
Jo's going to stay over at Fern's, we're just helping to clean up. His mom is messy and Jo's dad is trying to deal with her.
Ash and I just got done with a movie. Want help?
LOL give me the address.
So I'm freaking out a little, again. Not like heart attack like before, but nervous.
Yeah? What's up?
So, first, thanks a fucking ton for helping us out and for the ride. I seriously don't know anyone who shows up to help clean up a mess. Show up to MAKE one, yeah, but not clean. What planet are you from?
YW. Now why are you freaking out?
We three were hanging in Fern's room and Fern asked who the guy was I was talking to at the party, and I was all like what guy? Can you believe I forgot?
That you put the fact your friend needed you above a possible date? Actually, yeah. Your friends are Important to you, capital I. I can totally see you doing that.
No reason to be embarrassed. Loyalty to people that return it to you is one of the best traits a person can have, I think. Anyway, what about the guy?
Yeah, turns out the guy is Jo's cousin and Jo set me up. Like, my wingman. He gave his cousin my Insta and stuff and totally played cupid. I guess his cousin liked what he saw.
Why wouldn't he? Did you like him enough to meet him again?
I did. I totally did. So I messaged him.
His name is Riley and I'm meeting him at Perks tomorrow. I'm going on a date.
No it's not. It looks like a zombie.
Shut up and take my zombie hug.
Bro. Riley fucking rocks.
We got drinks and talked for a little. He goes to a private school and I thought that would equal snob, but he wasn't. We talked games and sports and he talked a lot about environmental stuff I didn't know about. He belongs to a club that cleans up public spaces like playgrounds and parks. He invited me to join him next weekend. I never thought about giving back like he says, or taking care of public stuff but he's really into it.
We walked around and down to the park and he told me about some of the work his group did cleaning up that park. We sat down by the river and I ended up telling him about my family – he seemed safe to me. Good vibes.
And he was really cool about it. Get this – he said he's liked me for a while and he'd seen me in Jo's pictures sometimes. When Jo told him I came out, he was just hoping he wouldn't be too late to ask me out. I was like...stunned?
Well...you are kind of stunned, but that's what you have me for LOL
I'd like to call you out for that, but it's true. I'm not all chill yet – family is a mess, counseling, Jo needs me and I think Fern has figured out I need him. But I think all of this over the last few weeks would have been a lot harder if you weren't there.
And there was nothing in it for you. I was talking to Fern about how I texted you from nowhere and he said he probably would have ignored it or blocked me. But for some reason you didn't. And now...what? I need help or to talk stuff out and you're just there. All the time. What the fuck, bro?
Sure there was something in it for me, the same thing Riley was talking to you about. Helping is a reward. I told you I wasn't so sure about you when the texts started – like maybe it was a prank. But I risked it because if you were who you said you were, then you needed someone to talk to. I could do that for you, and it's a good thing. Take every chance to do good.
I have to go help Fern's mom with dinner. But listen...this isn't over. Thanks for the help with homework, listening, advice and showing up. But now you're fucked because I'm going to keep asking. I hope you're good with that, bro.
I got you.