"This is a story of boy meets boy.
But you should know up front this is not a love story."
At least not anymore.
Call of a Distant Admirer
In braided Reality.
I’ve seen you around and just can’t get you out of my head. I’m kind of shy and I’ve been debating saying anything. I mean, I’d just come off as some weird stalker, right? After a few days, I finally decided to say something. You’re really cute and when I found your profile online, I fell even harder. If you don’t want to get to know me, I totally understand. I just had to say something because it was eating at me.
Typically my Mondays don’t generally start off on such a positive note. Going into midterms, the drudgy fog of returning to school and work from a busy weekend lifted for a moment with those words. The message shortly followed my admission to myself that a relationship with my dream guy was not really possible at the moment. Evan needed space and friendship and I begrudgingly offered both.
The appearance of Andre was mysterious and relieving. I wondered what the larger part of the story was. How he’d heard about me or seen me and what sparked his interest in a college student working out his issues with homosexuality, romance, and religion. Subconsciously, I formed a connection with Andre in our shared, neurotic angst. His message was at once courageous and self-deprecating.
My interest piqued, I responded inquisitively after looking a bit of online sleuthing on my social networking sites. He was cute with dark hair and thick eyebrows. His eyes were bashful, somehow unsure half-open in most of his shots reacting to the emotional pressure of his photo being taken and that image of him surviving for eternity. His demeanor put a smile on my face because I saw a lot of myself in him—the self that lacked confidence before I’d come out to myself.
Socially speaking, there weren’t many connections. Apparently, he’d recently moved to Utah without knowing why he’d made the decision: “I’ve been in Utah a few weeks. It wasn’t what I’d expected and I’m not sure if I like it yet. Time will tell.” I posed him a set of questions aimed at understanding the gaps in his story. Even before I realized my homosexuality, Honestly, what would possess someone to move to Utah?, became a rather regular thought. That sentiment was only amplified by the fact that Andre was a decidedly out gay man. Of course, that was the first question I tossed at him.
His story unfolded over a series of emails, instant messages, and eventually via text messaging. He’d recently become the area manager for Radio Shack. “They asked me to move to Salt Lake, so I could oversee this hub of stores. When you look at it, though, it’s about the same as Nebraska, only different.”
That said, Nebraska was home for him. It’s where his mother lived. It’s where he graduated high school. It’s where he met his first boyfriend. Nebraska didn’t provide a lot of opportunities, though. He found the dating scene small and racist towards Latinos. There was no room for advancement at work there, so he took a risk and applied for a position elsewhere.
Despite some distance issues (a common issue for me even at that time), we decided it would be a good idea to meet up in my hometown. Despite being a few years older, he took a characteristically youthful and enthusiastic role in the relationship. Following a barrage of questions about what I liked to do, I assured him I’d be happiest with something simple.
“A conversation and not some sort of present will be more memorable and valuable. Just be yourself and we’ll have a great time,” I assured him.
End, Part 1.