It's time to blog about this.
There was a boy that I loved for 20 years of my life. I'm gonna tell you about him.
Gonna have to break this up into parts.
When I was 15, I moved from Baton Rouge to Tulsa. It was the summer before 10th grade. 1991.
First day of school came around.
At one point during the day, I was with my First Day Friend, and I saw him.
"Who is that??"
You guys. He was beautiful. Gorgeous.
He had dark hair that was short in the back and longer in the front and flopped over to one side- I guess back then, you would have called it 'skater hair'. He was wearing all black and combat boots. He had pale skin. A gorgeous mouth. A long, slender nose.
I was swooning. The floor underneath turned spongey. Everything was in slow motion. The Jets and the Sharks stopped their dance-fighting. At that moment, I fell in love. I had no clue that the moment would turn into a 20 year thing.
(I'm not crazy, promise. Just wait...)
"Oh, him?" my friend answered. "Isn't he cute? He likes my friend who's a senior, and she likes him. They'll be so cute together."
That was the first time of about 436 times that my heart was broken by The Boy.
The next morning, while at my locker, I saw that senior girl sitting on the floor next to her locker. Then I saw my sophomore Boy walk up and sit down next to her.
Heavy sigh. Clinical depression.
All year long, they were The Couple. She was waify and olive skinned and meek. Um, the EXACT OPPOSITE OF ME. So whenever I saw them sucking each other's faces, which was a daily thing, I would high tail it in the other direction, because I was reminded that I was ultra white and coo coo crazy tall and gregarious. (I used to have a love/hate relationship with being 5'10". Being around petite girls made me feel manly, which is probably why I always thought I looked like Axl Rose when I wasn't wearing make-up)
I'd had a boyfriend during the school year- a lanky guy from Colorado- but I really just wanted The Boy.
Then the end of the school year, THE BOY AND THE WAIF BROKE UP! Oh, yes! This is my chance! He will naturally see that we're perfect for each other! I mean, just like that Survivor hit from 1985 that reached #4 on the Billboard's Hot 100- The search is over/You were with me all the while!
About 2 weeks later, school was out for the summer.
I had a different boyfriend that summer- a tall Native American dude- but that was brief. Point is I pretty much forgot about The Boy during the summer. I never ran into him in a public place and certainly not any private places.
Then came the first day of junior year.
I walked into my first class, and it was like walking into plate glass. There he was. Oh, crap! Out of nowhere I felt a bout of diarrhea coming on. I was reminded in a fraction of a second how utterly smitten I was was with this boy! Then that thing happened where you totally forget how to be. I involuntarily adopted the personality of Rizzo from Grease. Why is that my default?
He was decked out in straight guy Banana Republic attire right down to his shoes. Hair was the same-ish. He looked better. than. ever.
Oh dear god. I'm screwed.
But this could be it! He'll so quickly see, as soon as I figure out how to not be Rizzo, that we are meant to be!
So I worked on becoming friends. And we did become friends. Not the type that hang out after school and drink Capri Suns and go thrift store shopping. But we sat next to each other in whatever classes we had. We chatted a lot. We were just so simpatico. We were both really intelligent, okay? And deep. Oh yes. (We both loved Depeche Mode)
We were friends all year. I loved him all year. I knew he knew. He had to, because: my face turned beet red whenever he talked to me, and whenever I spoke to him my tongue disappeared into my trachea. He had to know, and because he knew he could have asked me out, and since he didn't ever do that, he didn't love me, right?! Right?!
I had another boyfriend that year. He was a singer in a band. Again- would rather have been with The Boy. Always. No question. Always The Boy.
When prom time was coming up, my best and gay friend, Chris, kept pushing me to go with him. This was during rehearsals of a play we were all in. "But I'm hoping The Boy will ask me." When it was clear he wasn't gonna ask, I went to prom with Chris.
Junior year ended.
He would never love me.
I was still crazy about him. It was like a sentence, a constant discomfort, like the way your joints feel when it rains.
Summer before senior year, I was at an outdoor concert of Stone Temple Pilots, the Flaming Lips, and the Butthole Surfers. He was there.
It was hot. He was a bit sweaty. He was in shorts.
Damnit. Damnit. Damnit!
Senior year. No dice.
I'm not any less smitten. He wasn't anymore asky-outy. He had this way of leaning in when talking to me, lowering his voice, really focusing his eyes. It was merciless. There was a day, during French class, The Boy said he saw me running at the park. "We should run together!" he suggested. "Uh, uh, uh, uh...well...okay..." was my brilliant way of accepting his offer which was the closest he ever came to asking me out.
We never did.
I dated a short, private school boy quite seriously that year. The Boy dated one of the cheerleaders. That was worse than when he was with the waif.
Getting ready to head out to BYU, I took a break from everything and went on a drive through the sod farms not far my house. Came home to my mom saying this, "The Boy called while you were gone."
I call him back. "I was thinking we should write each other when we're at college," he said. He wants to be pen pals, he said. He wants to write me when I go away to Utah, he said! He's gonna miss me, he said! He LOOOOVVVVES ME, HE SAID!
He only said the first part.
We exchanged addresses.
I left for Utah.
He actually wrote me several times.
I'd always write back immediately.
The summer after freshman year was the only summer I came home/didn't stay in Utah.
What a long, boring summer. I worked at Blockbuster Music (remember those?).
Barely saw anyone. Barely did anything. Hung out a bit with a guy I worked with named Bob. We made out.
I went to work. Worried about my freshman 15. Hung out with brother and sister at home. Tulsa was not the same.
Summer was winding down. I could not wait to get back to my new life in Utah and all my theatre buddies (who are all still to this day some of my best buddies).
One night, my sister told me that The Boy's band- did I forget to mention that he was a drummer? Did I forget to mention that is one of the hottest things a guy can be? Anyway, she told me his band would be playing downtown. Well, whatever. I'm not gonna go or anything.
So I was picking out my outfit to go see The Boy's band play, and I was really really worried about my freshman 15. But I was gonna go to the show and The Boy was gonna see me and fall in love with me once and for all.
I arrived at the club, parked around the corner, and my legs felt like wet noodles as I walked to the door. I felt as though I was walking in with a huge neon sign over my head flashing, "I AM HERE TO SEE THE BOY BECAUSE I LOVE HIM! OKAY? I ADMIT IT!".
The night was a disaster. Apparently, the cheerleader was still his girlfriend. She was there. The Boy and I barely talked. I drove home crying. Done. Done. Done.
A few months later, I started dating Matt- you know, the gay guy I married?
That was in 1997.
It was the year 2000 when one day The Boy occurred to me. He occurred to me real hard. I put my 2 toddlers in front of some Playhouse Disney show and went to the bathroom and closed the door and wrote a 4 page letter (front and back) to The Boy.
And I mailed it.
My hand shook as I slid the envelope addressed to his parents' home in Oklahoma into the 'outgoing' slot. And then, it was in there. Nothing I could do.
Oddly enough, I felt great. I didn't even care if he ever wrote back.
He never wrote back.
A few months later, I got my first email address. Somehow, my sister found The Boy's email address and sent him my email address.
We were living in England when I opened up my inbox and saw "Boy". I gasped loud enough for Matt to ask what the heck was wrong. I was hot and sweaty and nervous. My fingers could barely work the keys.
We emailed casually over the next couple of years. Not often or regular. Only sporadically.
But even sporadically created a gigantic problem: My mind was on The Boy more than it had been since high school. But in a different way. In a I'm-married-to-a-gay-man-and-want-to-be-with-The-Boy way.
I was in Chicago with my friend, Wagamama, and I was telling her about The Boy. Wagamama is an oracle. I told her I wanted to ask The Boy if he'd ever had feelings for me. "Maybe it would bring closure," I said. "What if it doesn't?" Wagamama asked. Well, there's that.
Summer of 2002, I emailed The Boy, and I said...
End of Part 1