Recently I was reminded of the worse things I had ever done to another person. The memory stings with remorse and regret, as it has since I was 14. Though it was completely out of character, I wasn’t perplexed. I never wondered why I did it. It was a historical fact just waiting to play out. I fell into the madness I always knew was in me. Viewing it, encapsulated by itself is where I left my understanding.
As I started to really look, I saw how close it was to another event in my life. When I pulled back the prism, they merged into the same story, just the beginning and end of one chapter. The circumstances don’t excuse it, but they do explain why I lost control.
I stalked a boy.
There were 2 weeks left of summer. I called him and asked if he wanted to go for a swim. We weren’t friends, we went to different pools. He lived 9 miles away at the other end of the school district. He politely declined.
During the next couple of days, I rode my bike past his house, repeatedly. I kept riding around his block trying to catch a glimpse of him. I hung out at the bottom of their street waiting for him to drive by. I called over and over, hoping he would answer. When he did, I told him I want to fight.
Fight? I wish I could say that it wasn’t me speaking, but it was, I said the word. I never thought it before. I couldn’t believe what I said. I didn’t know why, but I had to make sure he saw me as crazed. Part of me wanted to be trashed and left in a sobbing heap, pathetic, broken and above all humiliated.
Calls were made. When I got home that day my father said “I don’t want my boys fighting”. I stopped.
Though I am far from menacing, my behavior was so intense and strange I’m afraid I put his whole family on alert. I have no idea how or if it affected him. I’ve always worried that it was traumatizing. No one deserves that. The poor kid, all he ever did was not be a jerk.
I had a crush on him.
This didn’t happen in a bubble. It was the summer I was molested in the theater. In fact I began as soon as the playhouse was packed away for the season. I’ve never correlated the chronology before. Seeing the timeline, I understand the intensity of my desperation.
That night in the theater, I left Dave tied up. He was offered to me for sex. I thought I was the only homosexual in the room. I believed removing myself was removing the threat. A few hours later I found out first hand the real danger was John, the man who tied us up. My mind raced, if John did that to stinking, rank me, what did he do to the nice looking boy who was hog tied? My hands were free, I could have rescued him. What horrible things did he do to Dave while I was cowering in a locked room?
When the sun came up I ran out of the building, but I didn’t escape numbing confusion and guilt. I felt filthy, not just from being molested. It crystallized what we were being taught; Homosexuals were lonely, dirty, conniving perverts. They’re only interested in satisfying their depraved cravings. My molester fit the bill to a tee. That was my future, what I was.
On the other hand, I remembered this boy from school. He was clean, bright, soft spoken and wholesome. My adolescent fantasies of him were beautiful, not crusty or tragic. Within days of wrapping up at the theater I was on my bike. I rode to what would have been his pool. I looked around for him. When I was 100% sure he wasn’t there, I called his house.
I was shaking. We weren’t friends, he may not remember who I was, he may not even hang out at the pool! I pepped myself up into doing it: nothing was going to happen if I didn’t try, I needed to be brave and do something. Swimming was a perfectly reasonable suggestion, something normal guys do. “Hi, it’s Brian from art class, I’m at the pool and was wondering if you wanted to come? No? OK, I’ll see you around.”
Instantly my head was a storm: Shit, it sounded like a pick up line. I should have planned it better. Of course he was busy, I should have suggested another time. Damn, it sounded like a pick up line. He could hear how nervous I was, why was I so nervous? Because I was a fucking fag. Why was I calling him? Cause I was a disgusting fag. We weren’t even friends…
I lost everything. I was naked. I revealed how dirty and diseased I was. I had to see him, I had to find a way. I was desperate to be near him. I could only be cured by his purity. If he hit me, hurt me, the pain would have counted as something. I spiraled out of control.
I seriously thought I went crazy. It seemed likely, didn’t I already have a mental disorder? It wouldn’t take much to push it all the way. But it wasn’t my sexuality or the crush fueling my madness. My psyche was battered by the night of terror, mind fucks and above all secrets. I couldn’t tell anyone what happened, it would have outed me. I hated myself for endangering Dave, for being gay, but mostly for being touched by that pig. His filth bore into my core. It hooked up with all the ugly things I believed about myself and crushed me. Everything was festering in silence and I had nowhere to put it.
The invitation to the pool was a valiant effort to pull myself out of shit. But I was already in a dark storm before I ever called him. I needed to be rescued.
This is the first time I dealt with this episode. Working through it I see it and myself differently. I’ve written about it a few more times Finding, Age 14, Take 2 and 360° | Parallel. The revelations have been so profound I suspect I will continue to write about it.