I spoke to Sam last night and he shared some things with me about our first summer together. I’m compiling a list of those stories and will post them separately.
Back to our story…
And so the summer progressed. And slowly, very slowly we became boyfriends. By the time school started we were pretty smitten with each other. I had introduced him to many of my friends, from work and school. They all thought he was as charming and cute as I did. And cautiously, I was introduced to a couple of his friends.
The first friend I met was Jay. Jay is an “actor” in the gayest sense of the word. When he walks into a room he immediately steals focus and whatever is going on becomes instantly about him. This attitude is multiplied in power by the number of people in the room. I’ve seen him clear a room because of his self-centered loudness. I only say all of this because Jay will come back into play several times in this story. Sam and I dropped by to see Jay at his house one afternoon just before school started. I think Sam had already told Jay that he had a boyfriend and by all accounts from Sam, Jay was jealous beyond belief. We hung out at Jay’s house for a couple of hours and then we were on our way.
And why did I get introduced to Jay first. Jay and Sam had been friends since junior high school together. They had been scouts together and Jay had been Sam’s first sex partner. They were junior high school boys playing some sort of game and then just like in the movies one thing led to another and there you have it. Of course after many years of knowing Sam it seems that he had the very same encounter with every boy in scouts that summer. Perhaps I should have stuck with scouting.
So I met Jay. And eventually Christian. And Jenny. And Vanessa. And a couple of other people. I don’t remember the story that Sam told them as to how he knew me, but eventually we did several social things with his group of friends.
Things were progressing nicely…until…I decided to teach Sam how to drive a stick shift.
There was a lot of arguing back and forth about whether he needed to learn this skill. I said yes he should, because you never know when you are going to be in a situation that you’ll need to drive someone’s car that is not an automatic. Sam, said he didn’t care. He’d only ever own a car with an automatic transmission and it seemed stupid to learn. And then an argument ensued and at some point Sam yelled at me and I responded by saying, “You are the most stupid close-minded ass that I’ve ever met.” Or something to that effect.
He asked me to take him home immediately. And I did.
I’ll interject here and say that this was not just about the car. It was about sex. And money. And life. And friends. And being in the closet. And not being able to spend the night. And any countless other things that had been building between us. It all just came screaming out about the car.
And I called him later to apologize and he didn’t return my call. Nor did he return any of my calls over the next several days. I was crushed. During this time school was going full force, I was working as much as always, and now my new boyfriend was mad at me and wouldn’t return my calls. I was desparate to at least talk to him but I didn’t know how to get in touch with him and unlike many years later I didn’t want to stalk him. So I waited. And one afternoon several days later, I ran into Sam with Jay at a sandwich place. I drove up next to his car and waited for him to come out. He didn’t, but Jay did. He came over to my car and told me that Sam didn’t want to talk to me. I told him that was fine but I was going to wait all the same. Finally Sam came out and the first thing I noticed was that his beard was gone. I had loved his beard and it was clear as to why it was gone.
We talked for a few minutes, while Jay waited in the car. I apologized and asked for his forgiveness. He told me he would have to think about it. I told him that I would do or say whatever it took to make this better. He told me he would think about it. I asked him to please give me another chance. He said he would think about it. I left the conversation by saying that I was going to Atlanta for the weekend to see my friend Stacy and that maybe he would like to come with me as a chance to get away and talk about this. He said he would think about it.
And I drove away. And I didn’t hear from him. And I was still devastated. But what can you do? So I packed up my little Suzuki Sidekick, took the top off and drove to Atlanta. I met Stacy and her friend Michael and we played while I was there. I was completely obsessed though and called every ten minutes to see if he’d left a message for me. I refused to call him, but I hoped against hope that he would call me. And the days dragged by. I don’t remember how long I was there, or why I was there, but I was there. And I was moping and just as everyone was getting tired of it…guess who called?
That’s right Sam. Seemed he was missing me as much as I was missing him and so he’d decided to stop being mad at me. Not only that, he wanted me to call him and give him directions to Atlanta so that he could come visit. He promised to make it up to me that he’d been so mean.
So the very next day, he arrived in Atlanta.