Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Experiment, Part 5

The Breakdown

The next morning, I made my way to the Avis store to pick up a rental car. The time had come for a trip across the province to visit some museums and do some interviews as well as an informal survey of the landscape—to know a people, you must understand the place out of which they grow.

I hopped in the car and set off for a six-hour drive alone. The traffic wasn’t anything to complain about. The weather was perfect. The scenery was as spectacularly green as I’d expected.

Not long into the journey, any confidence I’d had about being on my own, of being smart or valued, of being over Mark had vanished.

I was alone.

BreakdownEverything reminded me of him and how I was not good enough. I flashed back to our first date in the amphitheater watching 30 Rock, to my first kiss in Ensign Downs Park overlooking the Salt Lake Valley, and finally to his sudden disappearance from my life. It was in every sense a flood of emotions. It poured over me with suffocating force.

Every song on the radio just seemed to pull me closer to a watery grave of depression. My cheer-me-up sing-along music even seemed to pull me down. One song in particular stung very deep: Mika’s Erase. Our discussions about Mika being the new Freddy Mercury resurfaced as I listened:

I shouldn’t have said the things I said
Lookin’ for love we left for dead
In a grave without a stone.

As soon as you hear my voice
Don’t hesitate
Put your finger on the button

Erase my love, I bet you can’t erase my touch
You’re tryin’ to replace a feelin’ without a name
With somebody else’s face in your head.


The words pulled me down because for the first time I was open to the lyrics and meanings, to the bitterness and sweetness, to the tragedy and irony of life. For the first time in life I felt like I was able to understand the range of human emotions and write about how they are expressed (or repressed).

That said, feeling like I could never be loved—that every good man would reject me in that way—made recovery difficult. I turned off the radio and drove.

An hour later, I pulled over bracing the biggest hailstorm I’d ever seen. Marble-sized stones pounded against the window. The sheet of water streaming down the windshield kept me from seeing beyond the front bumper. I had no choice but to sit and think, so there I sat for forty-five minutes as the lyrics passed through my head again and again:

When the pain won’t go away
You might as well
Put your finger on the trigger

Erase my love, I bet you can’t erase my touch
You’re tryin’ to replace a feelin’ without a name
With somebody else’s face in your head.

The hailstorm ended, but the sun was nowhere in sight.

I wiped away the tears, looked in the mirror and said to myself, “GMB. pull yourself together. You have work to do.”

End, Part 5

This story is on hiatus until after Christmas. I don’t want to be a downer on the holiday cheer. Plus, I’ve just had something very similar come to pass with another boy. Indeed, timing is a funny thing when it comes to my writing.


Anonymous said...

You are a superb writer, GMB. So talented. Great news about your poem being published. I see MANY things being published for you. Merry Christmas!

Cole said...

Timing, indeed, my most winning GMB. I've been down with a horrendous flu, but call me if yo need anything.

Yitzhak said...

Not to joke, but that's usually the way of it.
Perhaps he'll come around and "come back out" of his closet.

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

Hopefully, yes. Sometimes, though, the stress caused by these guys with values has made me question whether the stress caused by those on the opposite end of the spectrum would be more bearable.

Patrick said...

this brought tears to my eyes

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