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Friday, July 2, 2010

The Life and Times of Boyfriend #2, Part 3

Precarious Admissions

Slats and
Strands
Come together,
Pulling each other taught with
Friction.

Cole had not seen me this way in a while—persistently talking about Andre, consistently positive, and undistracted by other guys—and took it as a sign that it was time to start “The Cole Test.”

“Do you think he’s ready?” I asked.

“I’ve been thinking you’re both ready for a few days now.”

The Cole Test “The Cole Test” was an interview/interrogation of sorts initiated by the two of us out of my commitment issues and Cole’s concern. He’d rather I not fall prey to the relationship pitfalls he’d faced in the form of a controlling fiancé or any repeat of the disappointments I’d faced in the form of immaturity (Mark), eagerness (Anderson), and lust (Derek).

A certain rush of feeling came over me. In all of my efforts to be deliberate and not rush into a relationship for fear of such disappointments, I understood in that moment that this was an exception. Andre was genuine.

In passing, I mentioned the test to Andre over the phone one night. He quipped, “It’s like I’m interviewing to be your husband and Cole’s.”

“Well, Andre, for better or worse, we’re kind of a package deal,” I half-teased.

“You know what I’m going to do then? I’m finding him right now on Facebook and we’re going to get this over with. You should know just how serious I am about all of this.”

I covered the phone and let out a sigh privately. I’d waited a long time to someone express affection beyond a casual flirtatious remark.

***

Later Cole shared with me excerpts of the conversation, boldly initiated by Andre:

Andre: Ask me what you want anytime I care about your best friend so much

Cole: Oh, I doubt that I'll ask you anything of importance for a while. I'm surprised GMB would've mentioned me so soon.

I was just teasing him about "interrogating" you because we worry about our friends and don’t want to lose them to complete dunces. I'm not kind to the less intellectually fortunate, nor am I sensitive toward those who can't keep up with me (kindness is not one of my strong points; however, honesty is). But, according to GMB, you're smart and a quick wit. I'm pleasantly awaiting the evening he introduces us to each other.

Opera

One question for tonight, though: Which would you most prefer: a classy dinner, wine and the opera? or a night of hotdogs and nachos, beer and lots of big men chasing balls?

Andre: Maybe option 2?

Cole: How very sporting of you to answer my question. Option Two is a totally valid selection! You don't have to back out of that one ("...btw"), especially if--as I'm suspecting—GMB told you I would select the operatic evenings. I wouldn't have offered a sporting event up as an enjoyable activity if it weren't a viable (and happily visual) pastime.

Opera or men and their balls--either way, GMB’s opinion is the one you're really trying to win over; mine really shouldn't mean all that much: I'm only a high class snob! Lucky for you, GMB enjoys a wide array of activities.

Grounder

Also, as you've invited me to "ask [you] what [I] want anytime," I suppose I should return the favor. Anything you'd like to know about GMB's friend(s) before he carefully throws you into our little menagerie?

Andre: Lol I was not in anyway trying to back out of my answer I do love everything but it depends but I haven't been to a sporting event in a long time and never been to the opera but I do enjoy a glass of wine sometimes. I have one question at the moment. You do have excellent grammar are you in school currently and what are you going for? As for other things or friends I will be happy no matter what you guys are like as long as I make him half as happy as he makes me.

Cole: Thanks for your compliments. I grew up in a rural--supremely beautiful, but deplorably rural--little town where poor grammar roots itself deeply in each upcoming generation. Don't get me wrong, I honor my farm-boy heritage and the work-ethic of farming people, but the seeming lack of education poor grammar implies can put people off, you know? (I guess a wording too proper can also be offensive...) Anyhow, I've worked for years refining my use of language. So, many, many thanks!

(By the way, this "educated and elitest" persona really only shows up in my writing voice--I'm much less highbrow and long-winded in person.)

To answer your query in regard as to my course of study: I'm currently enrolled in the undergraduate music program at Weber State University in Ogden, UT, majoring in piano performance. Music can be a bitchy, jealous lover, but when it's good--man, is it good!

I haven't seen GMB so happy in many months, Andre, and I'm really, honestly pleased for both of you. I'm glad you find he makes you happy, as well. Be good to him.

***

Sharing highlights of the conversation, Cole concluded on the drive home from a symphony one night, “You know you’ve got a winner this time, don’t you?” as I eagerly contemplated my date with Andre the next day.

“I know. It’s refreshing. I haven’t felt this way in a long time. Being around him gives me glimpses into what I haven’t been sure I could have.”

“That didn’t make sense. What do you mean?” Cole asked.

After a few minutes of stuttering and talking around it, I finally said. I think I’m beginning to understand what it means to be satisfied with life.”

“Happy, you mean?”

epiphany

“Yeah,” I said with that jarring epiphany, “but that sounds so cliché.

“Happiness is never a cliché, GMB” Cole pointed out. “The idea may be puffed up, but the journey—the important part—is different for everyone. That’s the significant part.”

And suddenly, it was okay to feel emotions, epic and iconic.

Once alone, I shot Andre a quick text: “I hope your day went well. Give me a call if you’re still up.” It was my typical understatement, but he knew I had something important to say.

In unimpassioned form, we told each other about our day, knowing that the discussion was about to warm into something more meaningful. Upon discussing our plans for the next day and the results of the Cole Test, I unveiled the unstated portion of our conversation:

“You know how I’ve told you I don’t like rushing into things. Well, that’s especially the case in the romantic sense. I remember going from door to door as a missionary dreading the door slams, the angry shouts, and more ambivalent rejections. The past year has been a lot of the same except with dating. I feel like… I feel like I’ve barely met you, really.”

“I understand,” he stated in the pause I offered.

“But I can’t ignore how different the past couple of weeks have been.”

I paused again, hearing only a warm silence on the other end. And responded with my own silence perforated by the sound of teeth and gums separating as I lit up with a smile of understanding.

“So, I take it you’re ready” he asked, “Ready to be official?”

End, Part 3.

8 comments:

this blog author said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A Gay Mormon Boy said...

Nice catch. That is indeed his identity. Luckily, it's not as if I've outed someone in this particular slip up. ;)

The weather here is perfect, although I wouldn't mind more heat. Lots of thunderstorms. Have a wonderful 4th as well.

Also, Cole is a great friend. Someone I couldn't do without in my life.

this blog author said...

I will delete my other comment, if you like, about the two "A" names...

My folks were in your neck of the woods last week when the microburst went through. It sent the outside table and chairs crashing into the garage- missied my dad by about 30 seconds. They said R. (20 minutes north of you) looked like a warzone after the rain and burst. Wow. That must have really been something.

Stay safe!

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

Must have been the day I washed my car. I have terrible luck with the weather!

Cole said...

@ this blog author: I take it you know either me or Andre?

@ GMB: Yes, a bit of a slip up (but totally ok) in offering up my location and program of study. Good thing I'm out and not easily offended. ;)

Is the opera pic a photo of Offenbach's "Tales of Hoffman?" It looks like the blond man is actually a blond woman (most likely a mezzo) in a pants role, and what with the feathers and such in the air, it could be, perhaps, the courtesan scene from Act II. Please, GMB, correct me if I'm incorrect.

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

@Cole: I'm opening up more, so I figured you wouldn't mind me sharing those details. Thanks for harrassing me, though.

Actually, the picture is from Mozart’s (very early) romantic comedy La Finta Giardiniera (The Disguised Garden Girl). It's from an Eastman production.

robert said...

"And suddenly, it was okay to feel emotions, epic and iconic..."

I'm wondering about this.

Phunk Factor said...

Crap! That Cole test seemed like a toughie....but Andre passed...so that's a really good thing...no wait, a great thing!!

Loved the conversation...and now i'm going to be reading the 4th part in a while!

Take care!

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