Hey that blog worked! Carl came over that evening. We cooked dinner, ate, watched some TV and then went up to my room to go to sleep. I have a trundle bed in my room, I sleep on the main bed and when Carl needs a spot, we wheel out the bottom bed. My mom got sick of inflating the air mattress four nights a week when we were in second grade and the bed appeared.
While we were brushing our teeth in the bathroom, he said “Hey thanks man.”
I knew what he was thanking me for, and I knew that was step 1 of his “coming out.” I said, “You’re welcome” and we carried on with our getting-ready-going-to-bed routine. That was two weeks ago and things between us have felt heavier but easier, like we understand something in one another that we’d never acknowledge and doing do brought us closer together.
Maybe he’d put off college for a year too and we can travel together?
My best friend’s name is Carl. He lives the next driveway over, which ends up being about a twenty minute walk. We became friends really young, mainly due to proximity, and stayed friends in large part for the same reason.
Carl wants to be a writer. He fills moleskins but never lets me read it. He sleeps over most nights – his parents have a hard time so my parents like him to stay with us – and will occasionally tell me what he’s been writing recently.
It’s very clear to me that he is gay and spends a ton of his time writing trying to figure out ways to tell me/his family/out schoolmates that. He suggested I keep this blog, so I’m writing in it every day – boring nonsense like “what is my house like” and “who’s my sister” and I sent him a link to it. I am hoping that by reading this, he will see that he can tell me who he really is without me judging or shunning him.
I have no problem, whatsoever, with homosexuals, their behaviors, or having one stay over in my house. Sex is a foreign concept to me so whether with members of the opposite gender or your own, I’m more impressed that anyone’s actually doing it. If he’s not doing it yet but knows that when he does it will be with men, I want to help explore that and support the journey.
When we were kids, my sister and I watched a ton of Court TV. I’m not sure why, but Judge Judy was like always on. I watched it for the wacky characters. But I think Megan watched it for the courtroom drama of it all. She went on to watch all of the courtroom dramas, she read all the books about law, she watched all the movies about shady lawyers and hero lawyers and justice.
Her best friend’s mother works at https://thehadleylawfirm.com/ and invited her to the office to clerk in the summers. She’s been doing that every summer since she was 11 years old and thrives on it.
In her case, it makes perfect sense to me to go right into college after high school because it’s an earlier start on a defined career path.
I know I’m supposed to want to go to college, that everything I do in high school is supposed to lead me down the right path to a Bachelors Degree and beyond that I will use to jumpstart a rich and rewarding career in [BLANK] doing [BLANK].
I’m just not into it. Every “adult” I know still complains about their student loans. I don’t know any adults who actually do in their adult life what they went to college right out of high school to study. And college just looks gross and unproductive in every movie or TV show that features college students.
I’d much rather finish high school and work for a year while saving money. Then, use that money to travel for a year, focusing on deciding what I want to do with my life. Then, I’ll enroll in a course of education that fits this decision. At this juncture, I’m leaning towards chef. I like to eat!
My bedroom has four bedrooms upstairs. I have one. My sister has one. We share a bathroom. My parents have the master suite. And one bedroom is the office/lounge. I spend about an hour in there every evening doing homework. I don’t want to pollute my bedroom with school stuff.
The downstairs has a kitchen that’s usually stocked with food, a living room with seating for all of us for a weekly movie night that my dad mandates (he chooses the WORST movies), a dining room in which we have at least three family dinners and three family breakfasts a week, and an attached garage full of mystery dad-shit.
We live down a very long driveway and have no neighbors. It’s a 6-minute walk to the end of the driveway where Megan and I catch our school bus.
My home life is fine. I have no family trauma to work through, my parents are good, my sister is annoying but good, my house is warm and we have drinkable water coming out of the taps. I understand how “good I have it.” And yet I see areas where it could be better.
My mom is a Nurse Practitioner in town and actively works to make our citizens healthier and our town better. She is an on-call school nurse for when our elderly “nurse” is out. She does this for free simply because she believes that children have special healthcare needs.
My dad is a fireman and most of his time seems to be dedicated to doing wellness checks and teaching courses at school and community centers on fire safety. Together, my parents are a bad-ass single unit of aggressive love and care.
And my sister is two years younger than me. She is much earthier than I – putting her crystals out to charge under the full moon, bathing in Apple Cider Vinegar, telling anyone who will listen how offended she is by the idea of women shaving their armpits, and writing songs for a punk rock band she’s in called DIVA CUP.
What’s high school like? It’s like, wearing clothes that suck to a building that’s falling apart with a bunch of kids with shitty parents, trying to understand complex issues as explained by teachers who barely make minimum wage, storing my shit in a steel box to which my wardens have the keys anyway, with nobody asking me what I want to learn about and teaching me, instead, what the standardized tests require that I know before I go to college, enter lifelong debt, and probably barely make minimum wage as an adult.
I have twitter, I watch the news. I know how fucked everything is. I understand how few options there are. I see my neighbors, teachers, friends’ parents taking codeine and fentanyl for the pains of having to go through the days. What could I possibly have hope for?
That’s how I felt my entire first three years in high school – I had no hope and I didn’t want to do the work to get some. And then that school in Parkland, Florida got shot up and those surviving kids showed me – and the world – what it’s like to work for hope.
It seems really hard, but not impossible. It looks so uncomfortable, but not permanent. And they look joyful in the face of despair. I don’t even face despair and I can barely muster joyful. They gave me something to work towards.