I didn't really think about it during the last post, I really didn't think about it until today during a conversation I had with some of the employees that the first decade of the new century is nearly done. I always thought as a kid that 10 years was such a long time, a decade just sounded so far away. But then again I remember being in our school auditorium and being introduced to the class of 2000 when they started school and I thought how weird it would be to have a double zero on your varsity jacket. lol.
I started to think about my job interview for my job in Michigan and when he asked where I thought I would be in five years. At the time I told him I hoped to be working for his company still, and truth be told it happened, but the five years after? Never would I have imagined my life as it is now. Where I've been, where I'm going, who I am now and the things I've learned both in life and about myself.
I brought in the year 2000 in Tampa, and it was a good time. Surrounded with family caused a few minor panic attacks but it was all good in the end. Y2K turned out to be nothing, but I secretly hoped I could watch something fall from the sky while I was sitting in that hot tub. lol. I was living with D in Michigan, I forget which of our google of roommates was living with us at the time, but it was a good year of random nights of hilarity with D and L from down the hall. Two friends that still mean a lot to me today. I was working a little part time job, but loving it. I worked for the engineering department and answered phones, graded tests, ran copies and delivered mail. It was brainless, but I loved it. I had my own office and the people I worked for were so great. The pay was little, but I didn't have many bills at that time so it worked well for me. L worked in another department so we would get together while delivering mail and hang out and have some of the craziest conversations!
That summer I went back to work fast food. I hated it, but spent a lot of time with my friends at nights and on the weekends and it was a good summer. I was so deeply in the closet you couldn't have ever found me, hidden so deep, burying thoughts, burying myself and refusing to let anyone in.
My junior year of college started in the fall and it brought on my job with Bob. It started well, working in his basement and just getting to know the industry. It wasn't glamorous but I enjoyed it. I quickly learned the ropes, I kind of had to because my friend that got me the job and was in charge of my training was fired around Christmas of that year, only a month after I started. It was strange, but I stuck it out.
'01 started uneventfully. Soon after D's girlfriend came up for a visit and just never left. She seemed to fit in well with us. L had not returned to school so she kind of filled the void. She was good and we all had a ton of fun. It was my birthday that year that I was sitting on my balcony of my apartment talking with my old friend J. She and I had quite a history that would require a post of it's own. She was the only woman I ever cared about and I thought we would end up together and she would be the only way to be happy with a woman. But it didn't work out the first time. But anyway we were chatting and we talked for many hours that night and we decided to give it another try.
I knew I could be happy with her, enough that I could bury any homosexual thought in my head. Well I guess I thought I could anyway. We started strong and heavy because we already knew each other. By the time summer was coming around we were already discussing marriage, I wanted this on the fast track because I only had one more year of college and I knew people would be looking at me after that, so we were talking about getting married the month after graduation, we would move to Florida where I could attend grad school and she could start a new career in what ever she wanted to do. Looking back it's hilarious to think about the ideas I had, the way I thought everything would work out just right.
I had planned on taking the summer off from Bob's and coming home in the summer to be with J. She never really seemed all that thrilled about the idea, but when my boss told me the job might not be there in the fall when I returned my mind turned to my career. We had a long talk and she was happy I was staying to work. She didn't want me to miss out on a great opportunity to just be miserable around town just for her. So it worked out. I had planned on staying at the apartments at college over the summer and just paying the rent because I would be making good money. Well they said it was fine but they were moving more people in with us and I hate the idea so some of my other friends took me in and we had a great summer.
It was odd living with a couple, but it worked out so well because they were both such great friends. It was kind of nice coming home to people in the house, watching movies and such. But every weekend I drove back to town to spend time with J. Things were getting rocky because she just wasn't fitting into this little picture I had of who I was going to be with. Our relationship was getting rocky in every aspect, and I do mean EVERY aspect. I got scared and planned a trip to TN, just the two of us.
By the end of that trip I knew it wouldn't last, but I kept pushing, I kept trying and I kept lying. That fall D and his girlfriend had moved to Chicago so I moved in with another friend of mine and it was so different. Most of my friends had quit school and moved away I spent a lot of time in my room. During the previous school year I had made a friend online, his name was Danny. We met in a chat room and I found him hilarious and so easy to talk to. Danny was gay, and yes, we met in a gay chat room. We had talked about everything, and he was the first person I opened too about my gay thoughts. The first person. Ever. He lived only about 20 minutes from my apartment in Michigan but meeting each other never really came up. We were just online buddies.
When I moved back to the apartments in the fall things took a turn for Danny and I. As things were cooling off between J and I, things were heating up between Danny and I. I was so torn, the months of August and September I was a mess, I was distant and just not myself, but no one was really around to notice. I was battling with myself, both in religion, in life and in love. I knew J and I wouldn't survive, I knew it was over, but I just kept fighting. I still have a series of messages from Danny that I discovered on a disk in the last few weeks and I couldn't believe myself. I actually told him that I wanted to be with him once and it would just get everything out of my system and allow me to be happy with J. He told me there was no way that would happen, not that he didn't want to be with me, but because it would unlock everything inside and cause such a mess. I didn't believe him and kept pushing him, and finally he agreed.
There are many stories I've told about Danny, some true, some not so true, but Danny was a good man. Danny was a musician, he was a church organist. He has a music company that does soundtracks and produces some beautiful electric music. Danny was very careful though, he never wanted his congregation to find out, he kept it from his roommate (how I don't know) and the thing that bothered me most about Danny was he typically only slept with married men. He said it was because they would never let the secret out.
But I didn't really care at this point, he was hot, he was smart and he was sweet, and best of all, he didn't care how fat I was. We set a Sunday in October to spend the day together, he had it planned out and I was both excited and terribly nervous for more reasons than I could ever put to words. I went home in September and went to see J. She was different, something was different, she just kept trying to get me to go home to see my parents and it was odd. It was odd until an hour later when a guy knocked on the door. She was dating someone else.
It was over, and not by my doings. It not only meant the end of the relationship, it meant the end of something inside of me. I had hit a wall, it wasn't a wall so much as the door to my closet. I went back to school that Sunday and couldn't wrap my head around it and went into melt down mode. I skipped classes, was miserable at work, and it all led to that one night. The Sunday I was supposed to meet up with Danny. I didn't go. Instead I had one of the roughest nights of my life. I believe I wrote about it but I can't seem to find it. It was the night God saved me from myself. It was the night that things changed for me, the night I felt God touch me, pushing me back down off the hand rail of my balcony.
Wow, I forgot where I was. lol.
So in '02 I graduated, I interviewed for a job in Ohio, but it didn't come through, and my boss kept upping his offer to keep me at his place, so I eventually agreed and found my own apartment and officially moved to Michigan. I was doing well in my job. My boss was a crazed psychopath but I somehow learned how to live with it. The money was great and I enjoyed living on my own.
I could continue with this, but most of what follows has been blogged about. It's funny I started this entry to write about the last 9 or 10 years but after I got through my story about Danny I lost my motivation. I have been thinking of Danny a lot lately. I have found myself browsing his website, staring at his picture, and remembering the conversations we had. I remember how he made me feel, I remember the emotions and feelings he brought out in me. I hold a special place in my heart for Danny. I have often wanted to write him and apologize for never showing up. He sent many, many emails following that Sunday asking me if I was alright. He was very caring in his emails and eventually gave up on me. I don't regret much in my life, but a part of me regrets going to Danny's that day.
I wonder what it would have been like to meet him. I often think of writing him again to let him know how things are going, but I don't. I'm afraid of ruining this memory of him by seeing him through my eyes now. Would I see him the same? It really doesn't matter much because I'll never write him. I know it would have been short lived, but I often wonder if I meant as much to him as he meant to me.
It's not a sad post, it's not a depressing post, I think of this as more as reflecting on a good thing. Without these times in my life, I wouldn't be who I am now. Without this past I wouldn't have this present and good and bad it's a good life. I've come a long way since 2000, more than I ever could have imagined and while not everything is going the way I thought, I've learned it never does, and that's o.k. It always works out, and it always will.
I wouldn't trade any of these memories and I'm glad I put them down somewhere. I destroyed nearly every conversation between Danny and I, I deleted nearly every email, but the few I came across were good ones and ones that make me feel good. They give me hope for the future, they make me realize that even when I think I'm the fattest thing on the planet, that someone cared for me and wanted me just because I am who I am, and that is worth all the pain I went through at the time.