Friday, February 19, 2010

Adventures in Internet Dating, Part 8

The Future in Front of Me

MirrorDrake Hatch had a bashful smile and a kick in his step as we approached each other for the first time. I’m sure my own reaction practically mimicked his expression as we drew closer. Our lives, too, mirrored each other in ways more uncanny than I could have imagined.

After a friendly hug and some typical How-was-your-day? conversation, he told a story I’d heard before (for it was my own):

“Suddenly, one day it all clicked. I met a guy—the right guy in the right time and place—and suddenly I didn’t feel broken. It made sense why girls held absolutely no appeal. Before I knew it, I found myself in a relationship and happier than ever because that question had been answered and that void had been filled.”

As in the case of me and Mark, things didn’t work out between him and that first guy after a year-long relationship.

“I’m sorry to hear things didn’t work out,” I said almost in reflex.

“It’s okay,” he said. “It would have worked out if it was supposed to.”

I was impressed that he had that kind of faith that it had a purpose.

As we walked, we seemed to click on so many levels. He had gone through the same experiences and situations at the exact same age that I had. He’d gone on a mission. He’d had the proverbial rug pulled out from under him. Yet he handled himself so well. I hoped that some day I might become like him—satisfied with life and okay with disappointments. He'd figured it out.

walk with Drake

As that first date came to an end, we found ourselves frustrated that we didn’t get to talk about everything we wanted to ask each other. I wondered when I’d see him again.

“Why don’t we do this again tomorrow?” he suggested. “Would you be free?”

“I’d love to.”

I could not have been more or spoken more affirmatively

The next day, the conversation started right where it had left off as we told each other stories about our time on campus as we passed particularly important landmarks to our past.

librarystudyguy He told me about how his boyfriend would come and find him in the library. He’d somehow pull Drake Hatch into an empty room or under a desk and make out with him, charged with the suspenseful thought that someone might catch them or they might get too loud.

The locale of the fantasy particularly impacted me—a center of knowledge and learning just amplified the sexuality and excitement—a sensation he picked up on instantly, pursing his lips slightly as he chuckled and flashed a flirty grin.

I showed him the amphitheater where I took Mark on our first date. I was aware that it was a make-out point on campus and wanted him to be the first as we sat there watching 30 Rock on my laptop.

Eventually, the discussion turned to a more serious aspect of our lives as we found ourselves sitting on a bench outside the library.

“What’s your family situation like?” I asked curious about what my own future might look like continuing on the path he’d left in his wake.

“You mean am I out to them?”

“Yeah. Are they okay with it?”

“They don’t know.”

“After five years, wouldn’t they know?”

“"I haven’t told them. They’d want me to see someone and go back to church and I don’t want that.”

“What about your brothers? Do they know?”

“Not really. You’re in the same boat, I’m pretty sure.”

“You’re right. I am,” I admitted. I thought for a serious moment if that’s where I wanted to be three years down the road. Trying to lighten the mood, I asked “So what is your relationship like with your brothers? Are you close?”

“We’re close. We’ve done shows together and we all went to school together.” Rather than alluding to why he wasn’t out to them, he simply elaborated more on their relationship before asking me about my family. “So, how’s your brother Darin? I wondered if he was gay, too.”

“Definitely not. Funny you ask about him, though,” I said, “You came up in conversation last night. I asked if he remembered you from camp and he said ‘He’s the gay one, right?’”

Drake Hatch was a little shocked. His face and posture tightened. What I thought was funny genuinely worried him. Returning to lighter topics—the shows he was auditioning for, missions, the supervisor we’d shared, our hometown hangouts—we finally got back the momentum that we’d lost in our difficult talk.

As the time came for us to say goodbye, for him to return to his fast-paced life in Salt Lake and me to my homework, we hugged. “Thanks for hanging out,” I said.

“I’m so glad we did,” he said with that bashful smile he’d started with. Pausing for a moment, he asked, “Would you mind if I kissed you?”

“Not at all.”

And there—alone—in front of the library his lips touched mine softly only to pull away a second later. couple kissing “Goodbye,” he said as he turned to leave.

“Goodbye,” I echoed in an unabashedly enamored voice, turning the other direction. We went our separate ways in perfect symmetry.

All I could think about for the rest of the day was how wonderful those two days had been for me, and that I wasn’t the only one to figure things out so late in the game.

Unfortunately, that was the end.

From the next day on, all of my texts and messages went unanswered. Drake Hatch had simply disappeared and the future in front of me was crumbling.

End, Part 8.


Mister Curie said...

Great post! Sounds like a magical couple of days. But such a sad ending.

You're definitely not alone in figuring things out late, as you now know upon finding us sorry bunch of MoHos who only found out after being married in MOMs and having kids.

Unknown said...

Sorry to hear that it ended so badly. I keep hoping that there will be a happy ending to one of these posts.

El Genio said...

It almost sounds like he disappeared because he didn't want to out himself to certain people. One more reason to hate the closet.

C.J. said...

That sucks. I renew my claims that you should date my best friend. He's a lot more secure in himself.

And therein lies the crux: one thing I've discovered, mainly through lawyering...

(Lawyers are a lot like strippers: they see you at your worst. By the time someone comes to you, things already suck--and they really need something that, at that point, you (being, essentially a stranger to the situation) can't provide. What they want isn't, you know, really what they want. You're buying something tangible but, at the same time, you're buying into the fantasy. that, for the most part, people who demonstrate how put together they are...usually aren't. Watch out for anyone who claims to have it all figured out, or who gives off that vibe too means they're either a) rigid, b) narrow minded, or c) extremely appearance conscious. The wisest, most truly confident people aren't afraid to admit that, hey, they have no clue.

I think your friend Drake was, I'm sorry to say, all hat and no cattle. Sure, he projected a confident image...but if he'd really had things all figured out, one comment wouldn't have shattered his confidence. The fact is, he bailed 'cause he was afraid you'd see the real him. And you don't want to be in a relationship with someone like that. You deserve much, MUCH better. You deserve someone who can open up, genuinely.

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

@Mister Curie: It's only sad if I didn't learn something and I did. As for figuring it out late, I think there's something you'll enjoy Sunday that's related.

@green and purple: I'm sorry if I keep disappointing you with sad posts. There are happier ones on the way.

@El Genio: I think you got the gist of it. He was dealing with his own identity issues.

@C.J.: Wow, that is a brilliant comment. I must agree on your assessment. He wasn't prepared to be open. And as a great actor, he had a great deal of control over his appearance. As much as people claim that gay guys are in touch with and open about their emotions, I tend to believe that we're as guarded as anyone else.

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