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a promise to myself-you can hold me to it
ok i feel like i gotta finish where i left off, last friday. so here goes.

so holly offers a half-serious apology, i grant her forgiveness, and all of a sudden, everything is better. i don't really know how that happened, but it was great. we were the goof-off buddies we've always been. it was like we existed only to amuse each other, and we had a great time. we made customers and workers laugh. we "fought" about everything, but with insults too ridiculous to be insulting. to show how much stronger she is than me, she picked me up and carried me across the front end. we danced and practiced fake karate on each other. and we worked too (me more than her). it was fun. i missed holly. being scared of her sucks.

then saturday i had a 9 hour shift. the first hour was with holly, and we had fun again. once, she came up behind me and put her hands on my shoulders and started massaging them, and i wasn't scared. she tosses her arm around my shoulder and comments 'you didn't jump.' i tell her sorry, and then jump for her and say 'oh gee you scared me!' she just laughs. i'm not afraid of her anymore. :) then she left and for a while, i talked to sandy. sandy is 2 years younger than me and went to my high school. we don't know each other that well, but she thinks i'm funny, and says stuff to me all the time just to hear me talk. so talking to her is pretty easy because she makes it easy. then, 15 minutes before ashley is supposed to arrive, i start feeling a little sick. they send me off to put away a full cart of returns. i wander around with it, and by the time 15 minutes passes, i feel like shit. i don't want to be here at all. ashley is here, and i hate knowing that. i either ignore her and feel rude, talk to her and feel dumb, or bag for her in silence and feel like a loser. it's hopeless. and my wrist is killing me becuase i try to use it and don't wear the brace thing. and my stomach hurts like hell (probably from something i ate-all junk food, all day). plus, i'm starting to get a headache. i think 'i want to go home.' and then i stop myself, because i don't really. i don't like to be there unless i'm alone or sleeping, and i'm not tired yet and there's people there. so i think 'i want holly to come back,' but i realize that i don't really want that either. i don't feel like joking around. i feel like shit and trying to laugh it off would make it worse. then i think 'i want christine to give me a hug and tell me it's going to be ok.' try as i might, that's the only thing i can think of that i want right now. that sucks. the only person i want to see has probably, by now, forgotten that i exist. life sucks. i mope around with the returns forever, and by the time i finally head back up front, it's time for my lunch. i force myself to eat some bread and crackers, and within a half hour, my stomach and head are feeling better. that's a start. then i go up front and bag for ashley in silence. sandy comes over and helps me bag, and starts talking to me. i pretend ashley's not there, so i answer like me. see, there i go, fooling myself again. but it works. it's just me and sandy, and i sound like typical loser, which is better than the mute loser ashley is used to. sandy is talking to ashley too though, and i gradually allow myself to realize that she exists. i start talking to her a little, and before i know it, the 3 of us are having a regular conversation. or as regular as a conversation can get when i'm involved. half the time is spent laughing at me, but the rest is a regular conversation. it turns out ashley was at my graduation ceremony, even though she went to holly's high school. she remembers my valedictory speech, (not becuase of the content of the speech. it was memorable becuase of the lack of content. in fact, i don't know if you could really even call it a speech. 'sentance' might be a more appropriate term) and we laugh about it. she says she wishes she had the guts to do something like that. i told her it wasn't guts; it was stupidity. she just laughed. we talked for a while, the 3 of us. it was cool. not like hanging out with holly, but it was tight anyway. like i'm almost a normal person... then sandy left, and i even managed ok on my own for a little, but then it got busy and they had me open a register.

sunday was uneventful. i talked to simon (graduated with me) and watched codi, who is hot, but not very nice and too old for me to really care about. 32 i think.

monday was the big day. monday was the whole reason i was desparate to write in here in the first place. monday, at the internship, i got an email from molly about big bear. i always get emails from molly about big bear. 2 or 3 times a week, anyway. they just tell me anything interesting going on there. whats on sale this week, new people coming, old people leaving, people who asked about me, or stories about people i know who work there. the first thing i always do with these emails is scan them for mention of christine. her name was all over this one! so i sit back and start at the beginning. by the time i'm done reading the email, i am depressed. i am more than depressed. i want to cry but i'm too sad to even remember how. i can't think and i can barely breath. to summarize, molly had seen this happen the previous night:
a boy, 18 or 19, comes into the store all the time around 10 or so. he always talks to everyone there, but mostly molly, tyrone, and christine. this night was no exception. but this night, he asks christine out. she looks shocked, but tells him she's sorry, but she has a boyfriend, she thought he knew. then the poor kid is almost crying, so she gets jp to cover for her, and takes the kid outside and sits him on the bench and they talk. this is where the story ends becuase molly didn't follow them outside.
i don't know what is so upsetting about this story. it's not like somebody died. i don't know what's going on, but i can't take it. i feel like the room is shrinking and i am about to get smashed by the walls. i get up and leave. i'm practically running. people in the halls look at me, and i have to get away from them. i need to think, but here i can't even breathe. i can't leave or i won't be able to get back in, so i take the stairs to the basement. the basement is not a pleasant place to be, but at least it's empty. i pace up and down the deserted hallways, trying to clear my mind. what bothers me about this email? it's mostly that she has a boyfriend, i guess. but think, i remember a conversation between her and marie where she stated that she wanted to have kids with 'a certain someone,' and that's definitely worse. i mean, if i'm not careful with this jim thing, i'll end up being able to say that i have a boyfriend, and look how meaningful that line would be. wanting to have sex with a guy is definitely straighter than just having a boyfriend, and i got over that one ok. this should be the same. and besides, it's a possibility that she just used that as an excuse, rather than flat-out rejection. that doesn't seem likely to me, and molly seemed to think it was true, but it's still a possibility. and what really is the big deal? i've known for months that christine is straight. it's not like this is a surprise... why do i want so badly to believe that she's not? i come up with 4 reasons.
1) i want somebody to tell the truth to, who will hear the truth and like me anyway. in my mind, this is a gay person, becuase no straight person could ever be that open-minded. in real life, my mind is probably wrong, and this could just as easily be an accepting straight person.
2) i want somebody who knows the truth, and is ok with it, but is also willing to help me through this. i want somebody to support me when i decide i'm ready to come out to my family, the rest of my friends, and to the world. i want somebody who would go to some gay-straight alliance with me, just for moral support. again, in my mind, this person is gay. but again, i could be wrong.
3) i want somebody who knows what it's like. not somebody who's willing to try to imagine walking a mile in my shoes, but somebody who's been wearing my shoes their whole life. i want somebody who can say 'i know what you mean,' and really mean it. this person would have to be gay, in my mind and in real life, as far as i can tell.
and 4) i want a girlfriend. i think that one's self-explanatory.
there's the 4 things that i want, and in my dreams, christine is all 4. when emails like this come along to wake me up, it hurts. but it's also necessary, becuase it makes me think. and what i'm thinking is that right now, it's pretty unrealistic to get all 4 of those things out of any one person, especially since all the people i know are straight, couldn't be #3, and wouldn't want to be #4. if i ever want to come out of the closet and be myself, i'm going to have to take it one step at a time, and start with looking for #1. truthfully, i probably have #1. i can't predict the future, but i think that between alana and nikki, one of them would be ok with it. alana wouldn't have to know that i ever liked her. i am completely over it, and i am an expert liar. i can easily convince her that my trouble with her boyfriend was jealousy-that she was straight and i wasn't. i know i could play it up. and compared to the lies i've been living, that's nothing. it's for the good of both of us. to get anywhere, i'm just going to have to take a deep breath, and tell someone. i've waited 20 years for an easier way to come along. if it hasn't come by now, i don't think it's coming. i think about those ann landers columns, and the people who quit smoking. they pick a date months in advance, and every time they light up, they say 'this specific day, i'm going to quit smoking.' then when that day comes along, they quit. cold turkey. they've been saying it so long that they almost have no choice. i'm going to do the same thing. i'm going to pick a date, and on that date, i am coming out of the closet to one real live person. no ifs, ands, or buts. all i have to do is pick a date. i don't want it to mess up school. i know i don't take school too seriously, and i know that there's not much chance that i'm going to start taking school seriously. but i also know that i should, and if i did, coming out of the closet could fuck things up bad. i don't want to do it around finals or midterms. i know i am going to be an emotional wreck no matter how it goes, so i need to pick sometime that won't interfere with midterms or finals. like the first week of the quarter. but the first week of fall quarter is so soon... i don't want to do it then. it won't give me time to get back into the christine thing. i feel like she's so close to knowing the truth; i'm so close to telling her from both ends. when i get depressed about it, she's the one who asks what's wrong, and offers to talk about it with me. she doesn't know what she's offering to talk about, but i do, and i've been tempted. and then the jim aspect of it. i feel like she's gotta suspect, at least a little, from all the things i've said about that. and when she asks 'why don't you like jim,' all i want to do is tell her. i can't help but think that when i get back to school, and jim is still trying to date me, christine will still ask about it. and if i keep refusing to lie to her, she's going to figure out the truth, right? maybe she'll just flat out ask me, and then it will be out in the open. but then again, i probably just think she's close to knowing becuase i want her to be close to knowing. the thought may have never even crossed her mind, and i can't sit around my whole life waiting for her to care. but i can give her a little time. one quarter should be plenty. so the first week of 2nd quarter, i need to come out. set a hard deadline. monday. monday, jan 7th. by that monday, if i haven't told christine, i will tell someone else. one person will know the truth by the time monday ends. and that's final. i know i make promises to myself all the time and i don't keep them. like how many times have i told myself 'i will go to class tomorrow,' and then not gone? but this is different. it has to be. no excuses. if monday is too busy for it, then i'm going to have to do it the day before, becuase by the time monday ends, somebody is going to know the truth. as it stands now, if it's not christine, it'll be alana. but that could change. it could be nikki, molly, lauren, chris, katie, or even somebody i haven't met yet. what can't change is the fact that i'm really going to do it. and after i do, i can start putting my life back together, this time the way it was supposed to be.
with that solemn vow, i leave the dreary basement and head back up to my desk. life sucks now, but on jan 7th, big changes will happen. it may get worse before it gets better, but as long as i follow through, it will get better.