Sunday, March 18, 2007

historical: first encounters

Pretty fantastic day today. I got to sleep in, it was gorgeous outside, church was abidable, we had an incredibly fun dinner at my aunt's house, and we hung out with Hidden and heard his hilarious performance of assignments from a class he took. We're pretty much all patched up now (to the relief of Salad) and the three of us are going up to Salt Lake to see the Joseph Smith movie tomorrow night. Incidentally, I bet we could get away with taking one (or squeezing, two) more if there's anyone from Provo/Orem that wants to come. I haven't cleared it with either Salad or Hidden, but odds are they'd be okay with it, and if not you'll just have to deal with the rejection. (: I'm excited, though. And I have to remember to bring a box of tissues, because I've definitely used at least 6 every time I've seen it, and I'm not anticipating it being any easier this time around. What can I say; I'm like a faucet.

Ok, so I'm flipping through my journal for fun historical insights into who I am. One entry made me giggle. I went to a school dance (girls' choice) my freshman year of high school at age 13. The girl I went with "was in Mathcounts and is way smart, essentially a girl version of me." PS, a year later she came out as a lesbian. xD Sorry, looking back that just cracks me up.

I guess I never recorded anything about the next few major milestones in my self-discovery, so this will be the first record. By my sophomore year of high school and at the age of 14 and 15, I'd come to terms with my SSA and had realized that it wasn't something that was likely to go away. I was still trying to figure out where I stood on it, and while I was nursing an interesting crush on a girl (I have yet to figure that one out, because I wasn't physically attracted to her - it might have just been a weird best friends thing, but I'm not certain), I was having a plethora of crushes on guys. That year the strongest crush was a senior kid that was in choir with me. It was very juvenile, but hey, I was just 15.

The next year was much more hazardous - I'm fully confident that only the intervention of the Lord kept me from ruining my chances at a mission and possibly facing other ecclesiastical repercussions [as a side note, I've toned this down some. This is a very vivid memory, and some aspects of that week would be just a bit too graphic for my taste]. With the old seniors graduated and the new senior tenors not really stepping up, I basically headed up the Tenor I section in the auditioned choir and the hand-picked madrigal choir at school. Among the Tenor IIs we had some decent strength, but a big boon for the section came in the form of a sophomore kid named Dylan who transferred back up to our school from New York City, where he'd been in a boys' choir boarding school something-or-other. The kid was openly bisexual, and extremely cute. So I silently crushed on him. A few months after my 16th birthday, the orchestra and choir went on a competition trip to Virginia Beach. I was in both the orchestra and the choir, and I had friends in the orchestra, but I wanted to make more friends in the choir. I'm sure secretly I wanted to room with Dylan and that that influenced my decision, but my memory on that point is pretty hazy. In the end, though, I did room with Dylan and two other tenors from the choir. Turns out one guy was also openly bi (and extremely disgusting - picture 400 pounds and unshaven, age 17, in lounging clothes on the bed eating vienna sausages out of the tin off of his stomach, and you can picture this guy), and the other guy was loosely closeted bi. What a situation for a stalwart LDS SSA youth to be in!

Two things saved me that week. One was my incredible naivete, and the other was what I see as intervention from God but what could have just been a series of unfortunate circumstances. I'll skip most of the filler. At one point Dylan and I had a pillow fight in our PJs (his consisting of boxers and an undershirt), and we ended up on the bed with his legs wrapped around me. If I had half a brain for the whole sexual undertones/overtones/tones thing, this would have been an obvious come-on. Luckily I was completely ignorant. If he had walked up to me and asked me to do something scandalous with him, I probably would have dropped everything and done it, but instead even his most obvious machinations didn't do anything to me. He would put a towel on, drop his boxers, and leave them in the room with me while he went to take a shower. He talked about not getting any on the trip. much more obvious could he get? We even talked about his lifestyle some of the time in the bus. But I was blissfully unaware of any interest from him.

The last day of the trip, I had basically decided I was going to go after an encounter with Dylan. Which was mildly amusing, because the night before he'd been talking about how he thinks everyone in the world is bisexual and just doesn't realized it, then decided that I was the only straight guy on the planet (probably because I didn't react to his flirtations) and that all supposedly straight guys should be as cool and accepting as me. Anyway, since I didn't understand flirting I was just going to be incredibly forward, and my excuse for doing it, or the circumstances I wanted to create to set it up, was another pillow fight. Shortly before I was going to put my plan into effect, one of the jerks in the choir basically threatened Dylan and said that he was going to tell Dylan's older sister about his orientation (how his family didn't know I will never fathom), which threw Dylan into such a funk that he wasn't in the mood to play or anything. I honestly feel like I was unwittingly moving into a temptation that would have been beyond my capacity to bear, and that God all but plucked me out of the situation in order to keep that promise that we won't be tempted above that we are able. In the end nothing happened between us, Dylan and I chatted and emailed for the rest of the school year and he loved being able to educate me about his lifestlye and the terminology and such. To this day the smell of the cologne that he wore reminds me of him, but I'm incredibly glad that nothing happened between us and that God had His eye on me. Even if I wasn't committed to a path following the gospel, he was a player and I would have been a fling, but since I was on the path to serve a mission it means that much more to me. Especially looking back and seeing just how treacherous the path I was treading was. God's a good guy.



Mormon Enigma said...

Your story reminds me about my first crush when I was about 15. He was my best friend. I wasn't a member of the church at the time, but, he was (albeit, inactive).

I just find it funny that my first crush was for a Mormon boy.

I was in love with him. But, for him, I was just a friend. I even wrote a poem about him once titled Unrequited Love.

AttemptingthePath said...

Hey, I live near there in SLC, and wouldn't mind seeing that film again. Send me an email. attemptingthepath(AT)gmail(dot)com

Kengo Biddles said...

I'm amazed at how the Lord watches over us. I'm sorry I didn't comment on this when I first read it, but I do aver that I read it when you posted it.