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october 19th, 2001: loser loses her closet
stupidfool
ok, so i'm going to start from the beginning, if i can even remember what that was.

yesterday, i went to class with molly. molly knows a bit of half-truths. she knows i'm scared of terrie. she doesn't know why. she knows i’m scared of jim becuase he was mad at me, and she knows about the email i sent jim, and the one he sent me back. so on the way back from class, i was wondering aloud ‘i wonder what terrie thinks.’ molly answered ‘she either thinks you’re a lesbian or a weirdo.’ holy shit... i ask ‘huh?’ and molly explains ‘well since you have some sort of strange obsession with knowing what she thinks, she probably thinks you like her.’ god, i didn’t want to hear that. but she’s just kinda kidding anyway becuase she’s really confused about the whole situation. at least i hope that’s the case.

i come back here and alana’s here. i decide i should leave for work early, to make sure i can talk to jim. i still don’t know what to say to him, but i have to start somewhere, so ‘hi’ sounds good to me. and if he doesn’t make it easy, from there i can say ‘i got your email.’ and if he still refuses to speak to me, then i’ll wing it from there. at least i have a starting point. so alana knew i was going to talk to jim becuase i made her practice the conversation with me (just the ‘hi’ and ‘i got your email’), becuase i wanted to make sure i didn’t mess up the words. then i went to work.

i got there and discovered that jim wasn’t working the shift i thought he was working. instead, he was working the exact same shift as me. so getting here early had done me no good becuase by the time he showed up, it would be time for me to clock in. so i clock in and run register for a little. amit teases me about jim, but i’m getting used to it. then they take away my drawer and have me bag until it’s time for me to take over on self-check. so i do, and a minute before it’s time, terrie calls ‘loser,’ and i turn to look and she motions for me to come over. i turn to finish the bag i’m on before i go over there and i guess she decides that means i’m not coming, becuase she just calls the message across the front end and says ‘it’s time for irene to go home.’ so i finish up the order i’m bagging and go over there.

i still haven’t seen jim and i’m still scared of terrie. jim shows up almost an hour after i took over for irene, which is almost 1.5 hours after his shift was supposed to start. i just catch a glimpse of him clocking in, and i’m busy, so i couldn’t talk to him if i wanted to. i run it for a while longer, and then when it’s slow, he comes over to me and says ‘your friend christine is here.’ ‘my friend christine...’ i repeat. ‘yeah. christine,’ he says, like i’m stupid or something. i say ‘oh, i have to give her a message from that scary guy.’ we discuss the scary guy for a minute, and then he mentions the email and he says that his email hasnt been working for a while, so he doesn’t know if i sent him anything back. i tell him no, i got his email, but i didn’t want to write it back becuase i thought it’d be better to just tell him. he said he had figured as much, and we would have to take a break together sometime. i said yeah, for sure, and then he had to go, but it was normal. it was practically a normal conversation. it was just like regular jim.


so i continued working, only i was on the lookout for ‘my friend christine.’ i saw her pretty quickly. she was talking to sara and aleesha, between 4 and 5 (aleesha was on 5 and sara was on 4). i had customers so i couldn’t leave, but they were handling themselves fine, so i was bored. i paced around and hit myself in the head with a rolled up poster i had found, and swung it like a baseball bat, and had a great old time playing with it. like, i honestly did. this wasn’t just my 7-year-old putting on a show for christine (although i suppose it was a bit of that too). i was thorougly enjoying myself. then i go to help some guy for like a half a second, and when i come back, she’s dissappeared. i’m mad at myself for not giving her that man’s message. i want to talk to her. so i’m sorta upset with myself, but i’m dealing, and then she shows up again, about 5 minutes later, right back where she was before. this time, i’ve got no customers, so i go over there and say ‘hey, that scary man said to tell you he’d catch you next time.’ she asks ‘what scary man?’ i tell her ‘the weird one that likes you.’ she’s still confused, so i add ‘he says everything more than once.’ then i think she understands and she asks ‘wait, he was in here today?’ i tell her ‘no, wednesday. he asked if you were here and i told him he just missed you, and he said tell her i’ll catch her next time and i said ok and he kept saying it, like 15 times, so i figured i should tell you.’ right about as i finish that explanation, she looks at the door and says ‘oh shit,’ and dives to hide behind the magazine rack. it’s joe the customer-the scary man. sara, aleesha, and me laugh like crazy. i head back over to self-check. when he’s safely up at the service desk, talking to marie and amit about his lottery tickets, christine calls ‘thanks, loser!’ to me (for relaying the message, i guess). she continues to hide until he makes his way into the store, and then she comes back out and talks to sara a little more, but prepares to leave. she says bye to aleesha and sara and terrie and me too, and thanks me again, and then asks if i’m going to stay in school. i tell her i’m taking one class next quarter. that seems to satisfy her. she says she might go back to school next quarter, if she can come up with the money. i ask ‘really?’ and she says yeah, she’s gotta do something with herself. then she says she’s got to go before that man comes back, and she leaves.

before the man even makes it to the checklane, amit comes to take over for my break. so i go on break and sorta look for jim on my way back. i don’t want to upset him by not taking my break with him, but i really don’t feel like i’m ready to tell him the truth, not right now. i don’t see him, so instead of going into the break room alone, and risking him finding me there and being upset, i just go into the bathroom. when i come out, he’s coming out too, and he talks to me about something regular as he follows me into the break room. we have the most normal conversation, just like we always used to. we discuss my history class, and english, and how i hate writing papers. he tells me about the class he’s taking next quarter, and how they have to use visual basic. i tell him programming is fun. we discuss big stomachs. we carry on like normal for about 7 or so minutes, and then he brings up the email. he asks if i’m ever going to tell him the long story. i say yeah. he looks at me expectantly. i tell him ‘in a minute.’ he raises an eyebrow and i add ‘or two... or ten...’ and he knows it’s not coming this break. i ask him if he told terrie about the email. he says no. i don’t know if i should believe him or not. then he says ‘how can it be that hard to say?’ i tell him it just is. he rolls his eyes and says ‘i already have a pretty good guess of what you’re going to say.’ i am scared. i ask ‘what?’ he says ‘i want you to tell me.’ i protest ‘no, what’s your guess?’ he says he doesn’t want to say it. he has a pretty good idea, but he could be completely wrong. and then he adds ‘it’s not mine to tell-it’s yours.’ i don’t really want him to say it if he’s right, but i’m dying to know what he thinks. so i keep begging him, but he refuses. he says he wants me to say it. this scares me. does he really know? i ask him how he knows, and he says he knows a lot of stuff. and he rambles something about how kids tell him their problems, and he can fill in the next line for them becuase he just knows stuff like that. he keeps asking what could be so hard to say, and telling me it can’t be that bad. then my break’s about over (actually, it’s way past over), so i get up to leave and he asks if i’m ever going to tell him. i say yeah, sometime, i promise. maybe even next break. he says ‘you know anything you tell me, i won’t tell anybody, right?’ i kinda half-nod, and he says ‘you probably don’t believe me, becuase i know i told you about other people, but that’s different becuase i knew they wouldn’t care.’ i leave. fuck. fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck is there any way he could have been talking about anything besides telling me about terrie and christine? that has to be what he’s talking about. he knows. my fucking god, he knows. i can’t stand it. i can’t describe this feeling i get. like, i’m scared that terrie knows, but that’s just me being paranoid. this is more than that. i am beyond scared. i am freaked out beyond belief.

when i go to clock in, i shut myself in there and kick the wall. i pound my head against the door on the way out. i want to hide. i want to be far far away from here. amit tells me my break was long and i tell him i was talking to someone and he’s not upset. he knows i needed to talk to jim. he teases me and i try to answer but i am fucking overwhelmed. i want to be low. i am afraid. i duck. i hide behind the little desk and press my face into it so i can’t see the world, and i almost feel like they can’t see me. or at least i feel that way until marie comes by and asks, like she’s talking to a 7-year-old, ‘you hiding, loser?’ and then a minute later, aleesha comes by and comments ‘loser, you need help.’ that is definitely true. jim knows. he has to know. when i think people aren’t watching, i snap a pen in half. i pound my head against things. i kick things. i bite my lips until they start to bleed. the policelady is here again. one time when i punch myself in the face (no, i’m not making this up. i really am that stupid), she asks ‘are you ok, loser?’ i tell her yeah. i’m not ok. jim knows. jim knows the truth. how does he know? i’m so fucking scared. i can’t see him any more. i just can’t. he knows the truth and i can’t take it. then molly shows up with alana and her boyfriend. they come up to talk to me and they ask why i’m so ‘wigged out.’ i tell them i don’t know. molly asks if it’s terrie and i say no. she asks if it’s jim and i don’t answer. she says she’s going to talk to him. alana and her boyfriend go grocery shopping and molly stays with me, watching me run the thing. i am still freaking out. i can’t talk to her. she says i am acting like a mental case. she says if she didn’t know me, she would think i had just escaped from my white padded room. i agree with her. i am nowhere near normal. i am not functioning properly. terrie calls me intercom line 3 while i’m trying to scan some firewood that i can’t make scan. she tells me i’m going to have to go up there and read a piece of paper. she tries to explain but since i’m (a) insane and (b) trying desperately to scan this stupid firewood, all i can do is dumbly repeat everything she says. she just laughs. when i finally get it to scan, molly and i both go read it. then she spots jim. marie is getting a pick-up on me. she says some dumb thing like ‘jim, come talk to loser,’ and embarrasses me way worse than she even understands, becuase she doesn’t know i’ve already talked to him. molly chases jim off to find out what he said to me to make me go insane. alana and her boyfriend are going through the self-check. marie comes up to run my break. molly comes back and says that jim said he doesn’t think he said anything that would have caused me to go insane, and he doesn’t have any idea. molly says he was acting kind of rude, like he didn’t want to talk to her. i believe this is jim doing what he promised to do-not talk about it, becuase he has to know (or at least have an idea) of what he could have said to make me go insane. so molly asks ‘why does jim make you insane?’ marie says ‘becuase she loooovvves him.’ i punch her in the arm. she repeats herself. i punch her again. one more time, one more punch. and then i’m going to go outside for my break, but before i even move, she says it again, so i punch her again. then i punch her one more time, just in case she says it again on my way out, which she does. and then as i step outside, she screams after me ‘she loooovves jim,’ so i run back inside, punch her, and run back out.

when i break outside, i don't stop running. i want to run far away from jim. he knows and i can't take it. i run across the parking lot, out to the sidewalk, and keep running. molly and alana are calling after me and i stop. i can't run away. not like this, anyway. i should just go tell them i quit. then i can leave for real, and i won't have to run like a psycho across the parking lot. so i turn around and go to alana's car. on my way, i need to do something, kick something, something. so i run back. that doesn’t help. so i go to the cart return and kick it as hard as i can. then i go back over and they’re trying to ask me why i’m so insane and what’s going on and all i can do is pace around like a drunken psycho and stammer half-sentances that don’t even make sense to me, and seeing how they have no idea what’s going on, i know they must think i’m insane. then christine walks by behind them. i say hi. she says hi back and when she walks by, all 3 of them ask ‘was that christine?’ and i hate the question and the answer and the world and i want them to go away. i want everyone to go away. i tell them my break’s over and i head back inside so they leave, but it’s not even halfway over, so i go back outside and slump on the bench and stare at the sky and wonder what the hell i’m supposed to do now. he knows. i know he must know but i don’t 100% know that he knows and neither does he becuase i haven’t told him. do i have to tell him? can i just run away now? i can’t do this. i stay on the bench for a little and then get up to go inside and as i head inside, christine heads outside and i look at the clock and still have a minute left and i don’t want to be in here. i hate this place. jim is here. jim knows. i turn around and head back out and i know i’m a mess. i remind me of last year when i thought terrie knew, only worse. christine is talking to a guy who worked there. he comments, motioning towards me, ‘see, she doesn’t look happy either.’ christine asks what’s wrong. i pace all the way down to the end of the sidewalk and say ‘nothing’ and i turn and pace back towards them. i say ‘i’m great.’ she asks ‘what?’ so i repeat, practically screaming ‘i’m great! i’m great! i’m great!’ and as i finish, i collapse onto the bench, turn around, hug the back, and pound my head into the wall. the guy asks ‘if you’re so great, why is your head against that disgusting wall?’ i tell him it tastes good, which is probably not what i meant to say. christine asks what’s wrong. she asks a few times, and says ‘you can tell me,’ but i can’t becuase i’m scared and the guy’s here and i don’t want her to be here as bad as i don’t want anyone else to be here. i’m scared and i want the world to go away. i pace down again and turn the corner and jump onto the wall and slam my body into the wall and punch the bricks as hard as i can, which isn’t very hard becuase my knuckles hardly even bleed. but at least they can’t see me. i can’t stay here either though. i can’t stay anywhere. i’m scared. i have to keep pacing and moving. i go back to the bench and curl up in a ball. at some point, the policelady comes out. she asks if i’m ok, becuase it’s becoming increasingly obvious that i’m not. i tell her yes. i tell her i’m great. she says if i want to go home, she can go tell them that i need to leave, and they’ll listen to her. i tell her no. and then i walk out into the parking lot, about halfway to the street, and then just stop. what the fuck am i doing? and what do i want to be doing? if i want to get away, then i can just leave. and if i want to go in and face jim and the truth, i should do that. but pacing around out here like a psycho isn’t good for anyone. i honestly don’t know what motivated the next thing i did, but i turned around, walked back to the sidewalk where the policewoman, the guy, and christine were all standing, turned to the policelady and said ‘can you tell them i’m leaving and not coming back?’ the policelady said, without even showing a reaction, ‘sure.’ christine jumped in and said wait. she told the policelady not to tell them that. and then she told me ‘let’s go for a walk.’ i stand frozen to the sidewalk. she says ‘come on.’ i don’t want to. i’m scared. i’m scared of jim and terrie and christine and the policelady and everybody in the world and i don’t want to be here or at home or anywhere. if i wasn’t so terrified of death, i would be killing myself right now, but hell is worse than anything you can imagine, and if it exists, that’s where i’ll go when i die. so i’m scared of every option so i don’t move. christine repeats herself again: ‘come on, loser,’ and i listen. why do i listen? i don’t want to tell her the truth. not now, not while i have an option. when i’m thinking about it logically, in the safety of my own house, it seems like a good idea, but it’s not now. i don’t want to tell her. i don’t want to tell jim. i don’t want to tell anybody. i’m scared. but becuase i don’t know what else to do, i listen to christine. just like always. if she told me to kill myself, i probably would. i follow her. she asks ‘what’s wrong?’ and i say ‘nothing.’ she asks ‘is it molly?’ i say ‘no,’ and then whine ‘why molly?’ becuase i know why molly. i know they-all of them-think molly and i are an item. terrie at least. christine too, obviously. and marie too. she says ‘i dunno, i just saw you talking to her, that’s all.’ i know that’s not all. i was talking to molly and alana and her boyfriend and she doesn’t mention them. she doesn’t know them, but still...

then the guy says something to christine and she stops to answer and i keep walking. they say bye and i keep walking. christine calls after me and i keep walking. i want to never stop walking. if i just walk long enough, maybe i’ll fall off the face of the earth and end up in gay-land, where this wouldn’t be an issue. she calls after me again and i stop. becuase maybe i do want her to know. maybe i’m confused. maybe i don’t know what i want and you shouldn’t make decisions at a time when you’ve spent the past 3 hours physically beating yourself up, becuase that has to mean you’re not in a very good state of mind for anything, much less for making the most important decision of your life. but i stand, halfway across the front of the store, and wait. she asks again, ‘what’s wrong?’ and i answer: ‘i don’t like jim.’ she says ‘so?’ and i know she knows. all of a sudden, just that question. she knows where i’m going with this, and she’s asking the questions to take me straight there. she fucking knows, too. i lean into the wall and look away and say ‘so i can’t go back there becuase i think he knows why i don’t like him.’ she asks ‘and why don’t you like him?’ i hurt. i’m scared. i can’t answer. i can’t do this. what am i doing? i mutter ‘i dunno,’ and i sink deeper into the wall, like maybe if i try hard enough, i’ll just turn into the wall and then this conversation will end. how did i get into this? i want to dissappear. she says ‘can i ask you a question?’ and i’m scared to answer, but i don’t even have time to answer before she stops herself and says ‘no, i want you to tell me.’ jim said that. christine said that. she knows. he knows. i need to get away. i think i’m really trying to be the wall. i think i look funny. i think cars drive by and they probably think i escaped from that white padded room too. christine says ‘let’s go over there where it’s private,’ and points to the corner. i stay stuck to the wall, but when she passes me up and starts walking there, i follow her. a fence juts out, completely shielding this little corner from view. she sits down in the middle of the curb and tells me ‘sit down.’ i go all the way to the side, against the fence and i sit on the curb and press my face into the wires and grab the fence with my hands, tight, and she asks again ‘so why don’t you like jim?’ i can’t say it. even if i wanted to tell her the truth, i can’t say that word. not in connection with myself. i could barely even say it well enough to tell molly that jim said terrie was a lesbian and i know there’s no way i’m going to call myself that, not out loud. after a long period of silence, i speak quietly into the fence: ‘i can’t.’ she prompts ‘and why not?’ i’m done telling the truth. no more. i can’t do this. i mutter, ‘i dunno.’ she says ‘if i ask you a question, will you answer?’ i tell her ‘i dunno,’ and this time i really mean it. if she asks me the question i think she’s going to ask me, i have no idea how i’m going to react. i don’t want to find out, either, but i think it’s too late for that. she asks ‘is it becuase you’re gay?’ the sentance is spoken evenly, but to me, the last word sticks out like she screamed it. it sets off these sirens in my head and involuntarily, i shudder and curl up in a ball, still hanging onto the fence for dear life. i still haven’t looked at her. i’m still staring into the fence, but i feel like i have to explain my reaction, so i say, in a voice barely above a whisper, ‘i don’t like that word.’ she tells me ‘i don’t like it either. or bisexual, or lesbian, or even straight. i don’t like that we classify people like that.’ i’m honestly shaking. i didn’t know i could make myself this small. my knees are touching my cheek and i’m balled up as tight as i go and i still want to be smaller. she calmly rephrases: ‘are you sexually attracted to girls and not guys?’ i hate that question worse. i don’t know if i answered that question. i can’t remember. i don’t think i ever did. but she knows, and i know it. a straight person would have just answered that first question with a simple ‘no.’ she says ‘let me tell you a story.’ this is good becuase right now, i can’t speak. she knows the truth. i don’t want her to know the truth. i don’t want the truth to be true. i just want to be normal. why can’t i just be like a normal person? she asks ‘you know i’m bisexual, right?’ and i don’t know if i’m supposed to know that or not so i again mutter ‘i dunno,’ which doesn’t really make much difference anyway, becuase she continues. she says she's bisexual, but leans more towards girls. i don’t really know if i can tell the whole story. i was listening, but there was a lot going on in my head too. it was about when she lived in the dorm, and her girlfriend-she uses my words for her: ‘the one i always come in the store with’-would come and visit. she tells me her name. something with the word ‘rice’ in it. i don’t know. i forget. she says somebody was leaving evil notes on her door. like ‘we hate lesbians.’ and ‘christine, you’re going to die, lesbian.’ and stuff like that. she says she knew who it was-a girl named miranda-and she confronted her when she (miranda) was drunk, and she denied it. christine said she picked miranda up by the shirt and threw her somewhere and if rice girl wasn’t there, she probably would have killed her. so she talked to her ra, and they had a floor meeting. christine got up in front of everybody and told them the truth. it was a hard thing to do and she was crying, but she told them that she was bisexual and that didn’t give anybody a right to make threats on her life and something something something (this is where i have trouble remembering), and after that, the notes stopped. that didn’t really help me any. she says she doesn’t know if i’m religious. i interject and tell her ‘i don’t understand it,’ which isn’t quite what i mean, but close enough. she says her either, so we’ve got something in common on that one. but she says that god never gives you more to deal with than you can handle.

from here, i don't remember exactly. we talked forever. we were outside, sitting on that curb, for a good hour. she did most of the talking, and i just listened and spoke into the fence sometimes. she said a lot of stuff that seemed beyond personal to me-that i wouldn't even feel right repeating. she told me why she tried to commit suicide before, and even how she tried to do it. she told me some stuff that she swore me to secrecy on. she promised that anything i told her was just between us, and she wouldn't tell anyone, not even her girlfriend. i guess i'll just kinda touch on the highlights (if you want to call them that) of the conversation.
i made her quiet once. she was talking about religion, and she mentioned the reason that i first stopped believing in god. she said she was baptised catholic (so was i), and according to them, who she is goes against everything the church believes. she says she has trouble understanding that. i told her quietly, still facing the fence, 'that's why i don't think there could be a god.' we sat in silence for almost a full minute. when she spoke again, she said slowly 'i don't understand it either. all i know is that every time i pray, things happen...'
sometime, she told me not to take this the wrong way, but a lot of people already knew. i shiver and sink lower. i ask what she meant and she said that most of the people she had talked to (office people) already thought i was gay. i shudder again. she apologizes for using ‘that word.’ she tells me terrie is gay. she says her and terrie have known it about me forever. she asks if i remember that time when i asked how she knew i was smart, and she told me that she can just tell things about people. i remember that time clearly so i nod, still facing the fence. she says she was saying that becuase she was hoping it would get me to open up to her. i ask if people really thought that, and why? she says becuase i’m quiet. and becuase of the way i react when they talk about guys. she says they already know, and do they seem to hate me? i told her no. she said it’s no big deal.
she tells me marie is bisexual, and adds 'but you probably already knew that,' and i shake my head. she says that's obvious. great. obvious to everyone but me. she says everybody, even teena, thinks teena is a closet lesbian, but teena won't admit it to herself or anyone else right now.
she tells me that everyone in the store knows about her, and most of them know about terrie too-from jane to ann to aleesha. she says none of them care.
i tell her my friends would hate me. the world would hate me. she says she doesn’t hate me and asks if she’s my friend and i don’t know how to answer so i stick with ‘i dunno.’ she says she hopes i can consider her a friend becuase she’s willing to be there for me. she talks about friends, and how she lost some friends by telling the truth. she says it’s not very fair, that she stuck with all her friends through things she didn’t approve of, like when one of them got an abortion, but they can’t stick by her. but if you lose them that easily, they weren’t really your friends anyway. and she says i shouldn’t assume things i don’t know about my other friends. so i know this, and i understand it, but i can’t convince myself of the statement’s value. so maybe molly would hate me if i told her the truth, and then she isn’t really my friend. but she sure feels like my friend now. and if i lost her, yeah, i could say ‘well she wasn’t really my friend,’ but then who is? i don’t automatically gain a whole group of new true friends if i lose all my old fake friends. and i like my fake friends. i don’t tell her this. she asks if molly knows. i tell her what i know she still doesn’t understand: ‘no. molly’s normal. she has a boyfriend.’ she says that doesn’t mean much. she says she had a boyfriend. i tell her molly likes her boyfriend. she says it doesn’t matter. she says she suspects molly is gay or at least bi anyway. i tell her she’s not. she says i don’t know that for sure, becuase molly would probably say the same thing about me. this is all true, but just becuase molly acts like your stereotypical lesbian doesn’t mean she is one. i don’t tell her that either. i just tell her ‘molly hates those people.’ becuase i still can’t say the word. i tell her she would hate me. and my family would too. my parents would kick me out of my house and my roommates would kick me out of my apartment and i’d have to live in a box on a street. she tells me that wouldn’t happen. i say it would. she says it wouldn’t, because her and terrie would let me live with them before they let that happen. she says that i might not be giving people enough credit. she says sure, she lost some friends when she came out of the closet, but she also opened up a lot of her friends minds. she said some of them used to always hate gays and make gay jokes, and when she came out, they stopped, and were still her friends. she said her family was religious and her dad was almost a priest, and even so, she told them the truth and they still loved her.
after about a half hour, she stands up and says 'let's go inside.' i can’t go in there. i can’t face jim. i can’t face terrie. in fact, there’s not really anybody in there i can face. i’m scared of them all now, after christine says they all already knew that about me. i cling deperately to the fence and take my face out of it for the first time. i plead ‘no... i can’t go back there, ever.’ she crouches down in front of me and i turn my face back into the fence. she says it’ll be ok. she says nobody’s going to care. i say i have to tell jim, and she says i don’t have to tell anybody if i don’t want to be true to myself. i tell her i told jim i’d tell him, and she asks ‘do you want me to tell him?’ i tell her truthfully ‘i don’t know.’ i don’t know anything. i want to turn into this fucking fence, is what i want. she says jim already knew too. he discussed it with her once, over the summer. i tell her he should hate me becuase i’m not normal. she says he knew i wasn’t normal. she said that’s why he liked me, becuase i was unique and like nobody he’d ever met before, and it didn’t hurt that i was beautiful either, but he would be fine with just being my friend. she says she promises he won’t care. if she's wrong, i can come find her and kick her ass. i sort of laugh at that thought, becuase i can't even beat up my scrawny little brother... she offers 'i'll tie my hands up to give you a chance.' maybe jim won’t care, but i’m still afraid. i’m afraid becuase my closet is gone and i miss it. we talk a little more and then she says again, ‘let’s go inside.’ i’m afraid. she looks at me and says ‘you can’t spend the rest of your life clinging to that fence for comfort.’ i’m scared. she says for a while, she just laid in her bed and hugged her pillow and cried. but sometime, you just gotta get up. and she says she knows i like working here, or i wouldn’t have come back. she takes me by the upper arm and helps me up and i reluctantly stand. i shove my hands deep into my pockets and walk with her inside. she asks again if i want her to tell jim, and i still tell her i don’t know.

when we get inside, the policelady calls me and i turn and she says she told brian that i needed to leave, and he said it was fine. he went outside to make sure i was ok, but he didn’t see me, so he figured i left with christine. i’m overwhelemed. i can’t really tell what she’s saying. i ask ‘so i can leave?’ she says yeah. christine asks if i need a ride. i tell her the bus still comes. she says ok and i turn and leave, leaving all my stuff in the break room. i just want to get out of here. i’m across the first little street thing when christine comes outside and calls after me. she asks if i’m sure i don’t want a ride. i say yeah, i’m sure, the bus comes in 19 minutes. i’m not sure. i’m cold but i don’t have anything else to say to her and i don’t want to make her take me home. she says don’t i want to get home fast, and i say not really. becuase i don’t. i don’t want to be there or here or anywhere and i’m just scared. she says ‘let me give you my phone number. you remember numbers pretty good, right?’ i tell her sometimes. i know not tonight, i don’t. i don’t remember anything tonight. my head is full already. she says ‘you remembered jane’s.’ i tell her it made a nice pattern is why. she tells me well try to remember it. i tell her i know i’ll forget. she says just try. i did, but i forget. i sorta remember the last 4, but i completely lost the first 3. she says to call her if i ever need anything. she asks when i work next, and i tell her tomorrow, 2-10. she says she’ll be in. she starts to leave and i ask her ‘if jim’s still there, will you tell him?’ she asks ‘are you sure?’ i hesitate, and then say yeah. she says sure, and i say ‘thank you,’ and hope she understands i mean for everything, not just for agreeing to tell jim. then she goes back inside and i go to the bus stop and sit on the bench and shake. i feel alone. how can i feel more alone now than i did when this day started? i don’t understand me, but i’m scared. now i’m scared of jim too becuase i told christine to tell him. i don’t want to go back there. maybe nobody knows. maybe jim’s already gone and christine didn’t tell him, and besides her, everybody just has the same suspisions that they did yesterday. only yesterday i didn’t know it. yesterday i was paranoid that terrie thought so, but that was it! now i know terrie thinks it, and so does the rest of the office. i can’t go. i have to call off tomorrow. i can’t do this. i can’t work there. i can’t i can’t i can’t i want my closet i don’t want a closet at all i just want to be normal. straight. i never said the word. any of those words. all night. almost an hour worth of conversation, and all i said was normal and not normal and different, but not those words. i am not those words. i hate those words.

the bus came and i went home. molly and alana were there, and they ask me what's wrong and we talk and play a game and before long, it's ok. it's not ok, not there, but here it is. they don't know. i'm safe here. i'm a liar, but i'm safe.

when they go to bed, though, things get fucked up in my head again. i don't know what's wrong with me. i honestly don't. i told christine (or she told me) and now she knows, and she's ok, and she promised to be there for me, and she likes me anyway, and that's all i want right now. maybe sometime i'll want more, but clinging to that fence, the last thing i was thinking about was touching her. i just wanted her to be there, and she was, and she said all the right things, and she told me that the rest of the store won't care either. so i don't know if she really means every last person, but i honestly believe that the majority of them wouldn't care, if she's telling the truth. and i do believe her. so why don't i feel good? or at least relieved? shouldn't i feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders? instead, i just feel scared. i just want my closet back. i can't go back there.

i toss and turn in bed all night. i sleep maybe 2 hours. i set my alarm to wake me up in time to go to work, but i'm wide awake when it rings. i can't sleep becuase around 7 a.m., the butterflies hit my stomach. that night, i was scared from then. but now, i'm scared of going to work. jim will be there. terrie will be there. christine might have told jim, if he was still there. i don't want to face him or her or any of them. i'm terrified. i want to call in sick. the only thing stopping me is christine... she's going to go there. she's expecting me to be there. i want to see her, to hear what jim had to say. i know if i don't go, she won't be able to get ahold of me, even if she tried. the phone number they have for me there is from last year. i should go. i'm not sick. but i feel sick. i can't eat. i can't get dressed. i can't do anything. my stomach turns every time i move, and even when i don't. i go lay on the couch until i've missed the bus that will take me there on time. then i get the phone and call, without thinking about what i'm going to say. (bad plan). amit answers, and i say 'hi. this is loser. i... uhhhh... i don't think i can come in today.' he asks 'you don't think so?' i tell him no, i don't think so. he asks if i'm sick. i tell him i don't know. he asks 'you don't know if you're sick?' i say 'yes. i mean no. i mean i am. sorta.' i think he can tell this is a pretty poor excuse. he puts me on hold, and after a while, ann picks it up. i figure it out as soon as she answers-he wants me to run that lame story by her, and see how she feels about it. i'm silent for a moment while i plan out my sentance, and then i say confidently 'hi, this is loser, and i can't come in to work today.' she sounds confused (usually people don't call in sick to the manager of the store...), and says 'well, let me put you through to one of your supervisors.' i hold for a little more and amit picks it up. he asks if i talked to ann, and i tell him that she told me to talk to him. he sighs and says 'ok, well, will you be in tomorrow?' i tell him i don't know. he sighs again and says 'ok, bye.' i feel a little bad becuase i know saturdays are busy... but i can't go in, not today, or tomorrow or maybe ever again. i hang up the phone and shut my eyes, and within a minute, the butterflies are gone from my stomach. it's safe here. i am ok here. they think i'm normal here. why should i ever go back to work? it makes my tummy hurt. but i know i should, sometime. you can't spend the rest of your life clinging to that fence for comfort. and i can't spend the rest of my life lying around the house, clinging to couch pillows, either. sometime i should go back. not today. probably not tomorrow. maybe monday i can... god i'm scared. i thought coming out of the closet was supposed to make things better...

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Wow well I don't know what to say... thats alot of shit that happend in one day... well hmm I guess u shouldn't feel to too bad cause from the sounds of it like every other grl at the store seems to either be gay or bi... at least its out now right, and I know its not looking good now but maybe it will get better.. it has too.. and christine wants to be your friend.. thats a plus right? I really have no idea what to say.. I don't wanna say anything that will be fucked up.. ah k Im gonna stop while Im ahead now... ciao hun

I am close to three months late with this but yeah well I have taken an interrest in your journals so I am reading back shit. I came out October 18, 1999 (our anniversaries are a day apart hehe) and the way it happened was like this.

I had been posting online in this chat room I randomly popped up in called Women Coming Out on gay.com I swear I still have no clue how the hell I ended up in that chat room but you know if you click click click on the web enough you can end up just about anywhere. I could tell you some stories. So yeah anyway the chicks in this chat room where so cool and seemed to understand me so much and I flirted etc and they helped me with a lot of stuff and just convinced me I just HAD to come out (I was so not ready) but anyway...About a week later I wrote my mom this letter (I mentioned that in the other post about religion) telling her all this crap but before I even did that I called my best friend Carla.

Now Carla is a very weird person who calls me Destiny won't eat meat and always screams at the top of her lungs. She is also a reformed Jesus freak. So she was home from college for some break and was leaving in a couple days and finally I said I am going to tell her. I feared telling her more than anyone other than my sister and mother and even then I knew they would still love me.

So I call her up and she is watching Touched By an Angel (go figure) and I tell her it is real important and she says she'll call me back on commercial. So I lie there staring at the ceiling pissed that my best friend doesn't have time to hear one of the biggest stories of my life and wondering if I really wanted to tell anybody after all. Then she calls back like five minutes later and it went like this...

"Hello."
"Yes Des, what's up Touch By An Angel was a repeat so I figured I could call you back."
"How sweet."
*Laughter*"Yeah I know right! What's so important."
*I start to talk*
"Oh wait shush I didn't see this part."
She puts me off for a few minutes then I just shout out "CARLA I'M GAY! I'M BISEXUAL!"
There is this loud silence (I have yet to figure out how silence can ever be loud but boy it was screaming that day.)
Then ever so sweetlt,"God will forgive you."
Deep silence on my part, "What?"
"God will forgive you and if so can I."
"Forgive me for what...uh okay."
*Click* I hung up

We had ups and downs after that beyond believe she felt betrayed I felt abandoned so on and so forth. But I still love her to death and we still talk, in fact she gave me this picture of hers for christmas. It was the first real picture she ever drew and I had been begging her for it since I saw it years ago in her room.

My point you'll be surprised what friendships can endure and what will make some friendships prosper while sheding the light of the fakeness of others.

Congrats on your closet exit...

~Jay~
"Randomness allows for imagination."~Me
"I have come to realize that there is a thin line between the phrase 'That was a blessing and the phrase 'Shit happens.' "~Me

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