Sunday, March 31, 2013
"Ron, if you'd like, I can probably get you a job where I work."
"Wow! I wasn't expecting that!
"Well, what do you think?"
"Hmm! I've thought to myself that it might be kinda nice just to have a job where I can just go, clock in, do my work, clock out and go home and continue to live in peace. Please don't tell me stuff like this... get my hopes built up... if you're not seriously sure! And do you think it's a good idea for friends to be working in the same place? I mean, think about it! We go to the same church. We go to the same gym. That's a lot of time we spend in the same places.
"It won't be a problem. This friendship is already unfolding into something I'm glad to have. I think it'd be great having you working nearby. If you want me to, I'll check into it on Monday. Can you meet me there on Monday afternoon?"
"I can leave the school at three-thirty. I can be there. Honestly, if that works out, I don't know if I'll be able to thank you enough. I'm sure mom and dad will feel relieved... excited actually."
"It's no problem, Ron. I'll be happy to do it! So, what are you doing this weekend?"
"Oh, besides church on Sunday, nothing special. You?"
"Same here! Why don't we ride out to Helen and, maybe, walk a bit up Anna Ruby Falls?"
"Wow! It's been a long time -- about thirty years -- since the last time I went there! In fact, used to be that that was the way I had to drive to get to the college I was attending unless I wanted to drive south towards Atlanta first and then cross over to I-75 north."
"Where were you going?"
"'Lee College' it was called back then."
"Ah! The Church of God school in Cleveland, Tennessee, right?"
"Yup! Since then, it's been turned into a university, 'Lee University.' I drove through Helen and up those steep winding roads, on through Blairsville to get there. Did the reverse to get back."
"Does that mean you'd like to go?"
"If it's not a good time, we can do it on another day."
"Well, I can't just give you a short answer. Get used to that! So often, 'Yes' or 'No' just doesn't quite get the job done. Know what I mean?"
"Yea, I know. So, what's the long answer?"
"We just met a few hours ago at the gym! We go to the same church. Our parents are friends. You can get me a job. It all seems so unbelievable! almost scary!"
"What on your mind? Take your time. Let it out!"
"Your saying that just makes it that much more unbelievable!" (Sigh)
"J_____, sure I'd like to go, but"
"I'd rather drop some bombshells on you and have you hate me now than... I mean we can part company and go in peace ... I don't want drama! God, I don't want drama! I can try to find a different church. Maybe I can find another gym. I mean I'm the new guy on the block! I left Habersham county many years ago... I didn't want embarrassment for my family.... It's been thirty years... All I want to do is live in peace. I don't want trouble to happen because of me. I just want to live in peace!"
"Alright, I'll drop a few bombs now. Know that there are more! I'm gay, and my family has known that all along. I'm broke, and am probably going to file for bankruptcy soon. I'm not loathing myself. I'm simply telling it like it is. I'd rather you hear it from me than through some grapevine."
"I didn't start going to the gym to cruise after men. All I wanted was to go there, do my workout,"
"Ron! I'm gay too!"
"and then go home to live in peace with my mom and dad. Huh! What! What did you say?"
"Ron, I'm gay too, and my parents know."
"Ron, honestly, I had no idea that you were gay, and I haven't cared one way or the other! It's been good enough that we go to the same gym and church. As I said, I think the world of your parents.... As everything has been unfolding ... unbelievably unfolding ... I've been totally satisfied in thinking that a really good friendship was happening, one that I'd want to hang on to."
"You're okay with everything I just told you?"
"Everyone has a story, Ron! I know yours is long and detailed. How can you live fifty plus years and not have a story with bumps, scrapes, bruises, tears, laughter, good times and bad? Frankly, I'd like for you to tell it to me. All of it! Take your time. Take all the time you need. I want to hear it from you. If not now, another day... or how ever many days you need. I'm sure I'm going to be okay with it all! I'm sure it'll be exciting... kinda like joining you for the ride. Every bit of it has added up and has led to here and now. I have a story too, and I'd like to tell you all about it. Already, I feel that you'll be okay with it. Why? Well, look at how everything has been unfolding already! It's like God putting it all together. I didn't set out for this day to turn out the way that it has. I had no idea! It's hard for me to not believe that... well... Ron, I don't want to lose this! I want this! Ron, do I have a chance with you?"
"You're here now! We're here now! We know now!"
"But, there are other bombshells!"
"I don't care!"
"But, I want to be sure that I am the one who tells you about them. I'll be honest enough to concede that I'll be giving you my own spin about them. Others who know can give you their spins. I have no wish to hide anything nor to sugar coat any of it. I've got over a thousand Youtube videos plus my blogs, Facebook and Tumblr telling the whole world my own spin about things."
"I'm HIV negative. I don't want sex with anyone until I'm married finally and for good. I'm so tired of the games! I've slept with other men -- each of whom told me he loved me and swore to be there until 'death do us part.' Each was supposed to have been the last, the final, the one with whom I'd live happily ever after. I've taken chances. I've had about a half dozen relationships. I don't want to totally forget about them, because I have pleasant memories from each of them. I've talked about them on my videos, and I don't want to delete them. Probably, I'll always reminisce about them. Before those, I tried to fix things by getting married to a woman. Two children were born from that marriage. Both are now adults. One of them was legally adopted. The other has given birth to children of her own. Yes, I'm a grandfather! I've never met the grandchildren. I've not seen the children (except on line) since 1995. I'm getting old. I use blood pressure, cholesterol, and erectile dysfunction medications. I'm doing the best I can to live healthy, but I'm getting older and older. All the past has cost me a lot. As I said, I'm broke. I can't say it enough... I simply want to live my life in peace!"
"Is that all?"
"I don't want to live in secret, but I want to live in peace. I don't want sympathy. I simply want to speak for myself and let others speak for themselves."
"Ron, I'm speaking for myself, and I want a chance with YOU! I want a chance to help build a relationship. I don't want anything below the belt until I'm married, and if there's a chance that our relationship can grow into that, I'd sure like to give a try. Knowing what I know now, I'm willing to try. Ron, in spite of the fact that it seems too soon to be asking this, may I have that chance with you?"
"The short answer is yes, but I sure do want you to think about what you're asking!."
"What's the long answer?"
"I'm sure there are more than one, and we'll have to figure many of them out as we go along. I do know that I'll want our parents to know about it from us. If the people of our church are to know, I want them to know about it from us. If anyone is to know, I want them to know from us. How do we go forward from here, we'll have to figure out. I want nothing below the belt until I am married. I don't want peace disturbed. We've got a peaceful thing going right now. It ain't broke. If it ain't broke, let's not try to fix it!"
"So, shall we go to Helen tomorrow?"
"You know, mom invited you to stay in the guest room. I'm sure she has made the bed, placed extra blankets and some towels and wash cloths in the room. You said your parents will be gone a few days, so why not just make yourself at home at our place?"
"I'll need to pick up some clothes from my house first,"
"Ok! Let's go!"