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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sonriso, Part 1

Reading Between the Smiles

And I can't hide, as people lie.
They make me cry, but i just smile
I can't hide, 'cause people lie.
They make me cry, but I just smile
I can't speak you read the team,
Your words they live to burn my dreams
But I can't hide, as people lie.
They make me cry, but I just smile.

—”Fake a Smile, Hide the Tears,” Beyond All Reasons

I used to wonder why my opinion of Derek changed so drastically in the months after we stopped seeing each other. It wasn’t so much a change of opinion so much as a sudden realization that I was attracted to the idea of doing what I’d never done before and having a boyfriend. Almost overnight, I went from recalling his wit, his skilled hands, and the squint of his eyes as he smiled to a disdain for each and every one of his traits. His wit turned from charming to malicious. The hands that brought me the first sexual sensation I’d shared with any other person (a hand job in a photo lab) took on a fiendish, self-serving character. And his smile was no longer an open expression of joy as I’d once seen it. It read more like a history of one people overcoming another in battle, making our romance more like the lust of conquest and his smile more a celebration of my fall to our desire.

Derek

In the moment, I enjoyed it. The pressure—of being the example, being the one that made being gay, Mormon, and happy work for him—had been mounting for months. I’d done what I could to cope with the friction of these two conflicting pieces of me, pushing against each other like two massive geological plates, and it seemed inevitable that one would subduct under the other resulting in some sort of growth. My faith that some path would be opened to me resulted in the apathy regarding the Proposition 8 debate and my ambivalence toward the self-hate I’d seen in other gay Mormon boys including my own best friend and others who were in much darker places to the point of contemplating suicide. Letting go for that moment made me reevaluate my stance on remaining neutral—or possibly complicit—in the gay Mormon silence.

In my disobedience, I’d let myself feel. It felt good to feel bad—to feel the guilt and know I’d made a decision not solely based on fear, but based on me. At least I knew what it felt like. At least I had knowledge to act on. I would not go gentle or blind into whatever lay ahead for me.

At least that’s what I salvaged from the rather dismal romance between me and Derek, which quickly unraveled in a matter of weeks. Every attempt I made to see him again just didn’t fit into his schedule and my idea to have a simple dinner sometime wasn’t as appealing as watching Underworld 3. Needless to say, that date became our last.

Before that could happen a number of red flags appeared, well-preparing me for the imminent end of our tryst.

End, Part 1.

6 comments:

David Baker-@DB389 said...

No going to lie, I was totally expecting a clip from 500 Days of Summer here.

green and purple said...

You did learn about yourself, and grow into a new stage in your life, due to your relationship with Derek. We can learn from unpleasant as well as pleasant experiences, even ones that don't go as planned.

robert said...

...a nod to Dylan Thomas never hurts:)

Draek said...

Relationships are difficult to form when you are a gay mormon.

It can happen. You just have to stop thinking its you against the world.

People make decisions, and many guys may hurt you in the process... perhaps you should hold on to yourself longer until you really know someone before you give it to them...

Draek said...

And don't allow every gay man's actions to dictate to you what it means to be gay.

There is evil everywhere in the world. There is evil in the church, in our families, friends, at work, etc

Hold true to yourself, your values. Unfortunately, even adults who are coming out as gay, will usually have very immature relationships to start because they are your first, you didn't have the benefit of trial and error as a younger person.

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

@David: I was so tempted but held back by two things: 1) I've already alluded to that scene (my favorite) before. 2) I would never compare Derek to Zooey Deschanel or Joseph Gordon-Leavitt.

@green and purple: I think that's the difference between happy people and unhappy people. Unhappy people have trouble forgetting the bad parts and looking for the good.

@robert: I think I found the poem you're referring to. I felt like a bad English major. That was a new one for me. Haha.

@Draek: Good advice. I tend to think that after the fact that I needed to know the bitter before I could know the sweet. How very MoHo of me.

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