Monday, August 17, 2009

Coming Out to Myself, Part Two

Looking back, nothing really stuck out about that day. I'd made plans weeks in advance to see Cole—my best friend—in concert. I'd decided to carpool with some friends to economize the gas and enjoy one another's company. As usual, work, school, and old times dominated the conversation. "Do you remember those Hostess cupcake wars we used to have in high school?", "Why did you and Brenda never get along?", "I remember the look on your face when you first saw the opening credits to Sweeney Todd," etc.

When we arrived for the concert, it amazed me as it always has how we were able to arrive on time, sit down, and shut up long enough to hear our friend perform. After more than six years of friendship, all of that had become routine. Cole was the musician and artist, I was the writer and Scholar, Jacqueline was the spiritual rock. After the performance, it was only natural for all of us to gather for a nice dinner.

That night at Village Inn, however, we were joined for the first time by Cole's other group of friends—his university friends with whom he studied and discussed music on a daily basis. There was the cellist, the soprano, the euphonium player, and the baritone—Grey. Upon sitting down next to Cole, I introduced myself to these new friends, taking note that the friends I'd come with were all at the other end of the table and that I was surrounded Grey and the other musicians. Moments later, I found myself enveloped in a conversation with Grey about music and art that was at times over my head. That said, I offered what I could to the conversation, bringing up the bits of literature and philosophy that seemed most applicable: Shakespeare's range and wordplay, Virginia Woolf's innovations in voice and style.

Suddenly, I realized something was off. Grey was flirting with me… and I liked it. Things like this weren't supposed to happen. But I felt whole for some reason—counter to everything I'd been taught in my life. In a split second I was left to make a decision: do I accept this as the answer to the problems I've been having or accept this feeling as an answer.

End Part Two.


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