A Matter of Perspective
by Elias Scott
I wrote the author, whose name is Frank again in August. By that time, I wasn't sure I could make it through the year. I think our correspondence best describes what happened between us until we were forced to end our friendship. I started with my first email to him in April.
Will Waters < willw521K@*-----*.com > Sun, Apr 27, 6:15 PM
Knots is truly riveting and fascinating and erotic in every sense of all three of those words. So very refreshing to read something that is actually well written. Bravo Ww
frankf4321S < frankf4321S@-****-.com > Sun, Apr 28, 7:13 AM
Thanks for your nice comments. It's what keeps us writers WRITING.
Will Waters < willw521K@*-----*.com > Fri, Aug 1, 11:17 AM
Hello sir. I feel compelled to write and tell you how much your work means to me. You're one of the best writers I've read online. I truly mean it. Not sure if legally I'm even supposed to be reading porn. I've never heard about anyone being busted for reading stories, and I guess I also just don't care anymore about a lot of things. Your work and others like you gives me the escape I need sometimes just to go on. Two years ago when I was 15 I did something stupid. I came out and my life has been hell ever since. I live in a small isolated town in the wilds of northern Idaho, but still thought in today's times that my town and family would be somewhat accepting.
I was wrong. I lost all my friends, have suffered daily embarrassing verbal and sometimes physical abuse, and my family really shows very little love or concern for me since coming out. In short, I can really identify with Matt and Andy in your story, except for the parts that get better for them.
I dream of the day I'm 18 and graduate so I can leave here and never look back. I'll probably join the military as my college support from the rents is surely all but gone. Plus I was always too small to be good enough in sports for any type of scholarships. Oh well, I'm not afraid of serving, and if that's my ticket out, then so be it. Until then I have found my escape, joy, inspiration, hope, and love in Matt and Andy's experience. It helps me to dream of a better day. Your stories give me an escape, and yes even friendship in a weird sort of way. There is none for me in real life. Next year I'll be 18, free, and will never look back. But until then, you and others like you help me to be at least a little free in my heart. Thank you so much, truly. Love ya bro. Willw
frankf4321s < frankf4321S@-****-.com > Fri, Aug 1, 6:27 PM
Thanks for the wonderful note about my writing. You really picked up my spirits, although I find the story you tell sad. I write under the name Uplifted Spirit because it's my goal to lift my readers' spirits. You are a good example. You're right. You'll soon be 18 and now that they got rid of Don't Ask Don't Tell, you will have nothing to worry about in the service. Although I still wouldn't mention being gay because there are still some homophobes in the military. At least you can be gay and have a boyfriend or whatever, and they can't prosecute you or kick you out.
I've always been a big guy and always wanted to be a small guy. I was around 215 in high school and played football, but only because the seniors told me my freshman year that they'd kick my ass if I didn't turn out. I'd been cut from the 7th and 8th grade b-ball team so figured I sucked at sports and planned never to play. I was even cut from Little League Baseball. But you know, just because those seniors believed in me, I turned out and became Most Valuable Player my senior year. So you just never know.
Believe anything is possible. If you want to read a great book that isn't about gay guys, but is inspirational because the kid is small and completely changes his attitude when he finds out he only has a year to live, read Deadline by Chris Crutcher. You can get it at Amazon. I liked it so much I read it twice.
Thanks again Will for writing. It means a lot to me. Feel free to write me at any time.
Will Waters <willw521K@*-----*.com> Fri, Aug 1, 7:33 PM
Wow! Thanks sir so much for getting back to me! It means a lot. I've never done anything like this before, but I'm so moved and emotionally stirred by your characters because unfortunately I can so relate to them. You're lucky you're big. I wouldn't get pushed into so many lockers if I wasn't the size of a new freshman going into my senior year.
I can live with things for one more lousy year because I'm used to it now and because I don't really have any choice. I'm already in contact with a local recruiting officer in a neighboring town and things look ok for me. They'd like me to grow another couple inches (probably not gonna happen!) and gain at least 20 more pounds. That I'm working on! Ha! And of course I'm not telling a soul outside of this hellhole of a town that I'm gay.
Sad as it sounds, if it wasn't for my lab, Max, who listens to me and loves me unconditionally, I probably wouldn't be writing this note, or any others. Nuff said about that. I guess that's why I felt drawn to writing to you. Your stories and characters, and others from a few select authors that I follow regularly, give me hope and happiness and even friendship in a weird way. And for that, I'll always be grateful. You have not idea. Life is just so shitty and lonely at times. Most of the time, really. Guys like you and my faithful pal Max keep me going. It's just one more year. I can do it. I'm definitely gonna check out Deadline. Thanks for the suggestions.
I'll let you go now. I'm crying and rambling. I cry a lot, but don't get much chance to ramble (ha!) Please keep doing what you do so well. You lift my spirit and help me keep going. I will always admire you and be grateful beyond words. If ya don't mind, I may drop ya a line now and then. There isn't anyone here in Braxton, Idaho (i.e. Intolerant USA) for me to confide in or get advice from. Thanks so much bro! Always your fan! Will
Reading these early emails makes me realize how desperate I was. I knew I was miserable, but seeing it in writing brought it all back to me. This line caught my eye just like it probably caught yours. "Sad as it sounds, if it wasn't for my lab, Max, who listens to me and loves me unconditionally, I probably wouldn't be writing this note, or any others. Nuff said about that."
Suicide had gone in and out of my mind many times. We live in hunting and fishing country so there are four or five guns in our house. I pictured myself taking one of my dad's pistols, putting it in my mouth, and shooting it through my brain. I figured it would be the quickest and safest way to make sure I died, didn't maim myself, and become a vegetable.
My memory must be slipping because I don't remember writing about suicide. But it must have embarrassed me because I added, "Nuff said about that."
Sure I talked about going into the Army, but I didn't want to. But when you're trapped, you'll do anything to get free. The Army became my temporary alternative to suicide. The thing is, I hadn't even started my senior year where I'd spend the whole year being pushed into lockers and called names. Plus, if I wanted to go into the Army, I had to put on at least twenty pounds, which was a lot for me.
Frank wrote me back the next day.
frankf4321S < frankf4321S@-****-.com > Sat, Aug 2, 3:13 PM
Yes, keep in touch. So you'll be 18 when you graduate. I stayed back in the second grade and turned 18 in November of my senior year and was eighteen when I graduated.
I was bullied a lot when I was a kid in elementary school so know how it feels. I was fortunate though because as I got older and bigger and fought back a few times, they finally stopped.
Never forget that the bullies are basically cowards. What kind of guy picks on another guy just for the fun of it? Assholes. But as you already know, there are quite a few of them in this world. It says more about them than it does about you.
I'm surprised other guys who are in the closet haven't come up to you and attempted to become friends. There must be other guys there who are still in the closet. Have you had any luck with that? That's one advantage of being out, other closeted guys know you're gay.
What's your height and weight? You're probably right about not getting taller, but I had a friend in high school that grew about six inches over one summer. (Well at least I remember it as six inches) Whatever it was, it was quite a bit. And of course you can join a gym and put on muscle.
There is a guy who I found on YouTube called Jouchkov. He was pretty skinny at 14, but was still toned. He started making videos of his progress and is now 18 I believe. I'm sending you the link to his first video and you can follow him or go through his videos and get an idea of what he's gone through to gain weight. If nothing else, as a gay teenager, you'll love looking at his beautiful body. He now weighs around 170. I think he looked better when he was thinner. Feel free to ignore anything I send because I'm a retired teacher and the teacher in me always comes out.
I know what you mean about your dog, Max. I had a dog named Sparky when I was a kid. He was a mutt, but I hugged him and cried and talked to him whenever I was sad. Too bad more people can't be like dogs with their unconditional love.
Feel free to write me whenever you feel down or any time for that matter. I'm glad to write to you and keep in touch. Like I said, it's the teacher in me.
Take care and God bless.
I wrote him back the same day.
Will Waters <willw521K@*-----*.com> Sat, August 2, 4:36 PM
Wow! This is great! You gotta realize that since coming out when I was 15 that outside of one female friend in my grade (Jennifer, I call her Jenn) that I've had no other sympathetic ears. And you're really the first adult I've had any meaningful or trustworthy exchange with about my issues ever! Jennifer's cool as hell, and has stuck by me when everybody else has jumped ship. But she's not a guy (if ya know what I mean), and it's kinda nice to have an adult to speak to.
My parents and I (especially my dad) haven't had a decent conversation since my college fund miraculously disappeared shortly after I came out sophomore year. In retrospect I think I may have made a mistake coming out in such a small town at 15, but I just wanted to be happy and stop hiding and lying and making excuses for not dating girls etc. Everything sure as shit backfired on me though.
And dear old mom even offered to let me borrow one of her dresses after coming home with a bloody nose and torn jacket last winter. Nice huh? My parents never physically abuse me, but being ignored hurts as much as any slap in the face for sure. Then there's the mysterious disappearing college fund. Oh well...I've already informed the rents about joining the army next year after graduation and the only comment back from dad was that maybe they'll make a "man" outta me. I may be 17 and 5 foot 5 and a half, but I'm more man than he's ever been or gonna be. Oh yeah, my other stats: already said 5 ft 5 and a half, but I'm currently a tad over 130 pounds (but eatin' like crazy! The recruiter wants me to grow another inch and a half, but it won't stop my induction if I don't. He did say I needed to be a minimum of 142 pounds and he'd like to see me closer to 150. I'm working on it!
All my male friends immediately abandoned me, and even guys I've hung with since grade school stood and laughed as I regularly kissed the lockers and gathered up my scattered books and papers on a regular basis.
I've been kind of surprised that nobody else in my school or little town hasn't approached me about "having something in common", I mean with roughly 250 kids in my high-school I'm obviously not the only one, but I think after seeing how the first openly gay guy in my school has been treated I think I can understand their reluctance. I guess instead of saying I'm surprised it'd be more accurate to say I'm disappointed. Oh well... I didn't do it to be the pied piper, but a little like-minded sympathetic company sure wouldn't suck ya know? It's ok though, I've got Jennifer (she rocks!), and Max, and now (hopefully) you too!
I meant what I said about what your stories mean to me. I'm no literary critic, but your stuff is better than 95% of what's on Stories. I learn, I cry, I laugh, I enjoy, I get off (I am 17 ya know!), and I feel a part of something. Many a lonely night your words have kept me company. Jennifer works a lot and she's got a boyfriend (he's cute) and I can't monopolize her time. I guess what I'm trying to say is when I read your stuff (and some from a few select others) I'm not alone or lonely anymore. For that I'll always be grateful.
I've only got one more school year to make it through, and I will! And I'm firmly resolved that I'm not kissing any more lockers this coming year without going down swinging. Jennifer and I have some definite plans to put a stop to that bullshit, and her new beau (he's a big one!) is on my side too now, which is way cool. Like I said, one more year and I've got my diploma and I'm never looking back. A year from now I'll be in basic training down south and my new life begins. Until then I know there'll be more challenges and shitty days, but I'm gonna make it. Promise me you'll keep writing your wonderful stuff, because that helps to lift my spirits too. I know I'm rambling here so I'll wrap it up bro.
If you don't mind I'd really love to be able to stay in touch with you, it would mean a lot. You seem like a really awesome guy (bet yer cute too! Ha!), and having a gay adult in my corner to talk to would really be great!
I gotta run, thank you SO much.Yer friend & fan, Will w
frankf4321S < frankf4321S@-****-.com> Sun, August 3, 7:13 AM
Your letters mean a lot to me so keep writing whenever you want. It's sad that your parents don't understand, but I live in a small rural community too and I can imagine what it would be like if they found out I was having sex with other men.
If nothing else, you're a trail blazer, so be proud of yourself. Not everyone would have the courage to do what you did, which is obvious from the fact that no one has acknowledged they're gay or at least tried to make friends.
Jennifer's boyfriend must be a hell of a guy. The fact your friends deserted you sure says a lot about what cowards they are. True friends would have stuck by you no matter what. But like I always tell my kids until they ask me to shut up. "Hindsight is always 20/20"
A whole new life awaits you and who knows what might happen during your senior year. You might be surprised.
The one thing about fighting back is that they won't expect it, and you will be able to get in a few blows to the face before they have a chance to react. Of course, that doesn't mean you won't get your ass kicked, but do it when adults are around so they break it up right away. Believe it or not, I used to work with gang members and found that they rarely fought on campus, but when they did, they always did it when there was an adult around to break it up. Helped them save face.
Like I said, bullies are cowards and they pick on the kids they figure won't fight back. That way they look tough without the fear of getting their ass kicked. So once they realize you're not going to put up with their shit, they may lay off and may actually respect you for it. Guys are often that way. Seems like a contradiction, but it is true most of the time.
They probably have the stereotype in their heads that gay guys are wimps. If you fight back, it will prove them wrong. But like I said, you're going to have to expect some shit in return. But I think it will be well worth it.
One time when I was in elementary school I decided I wasn't going to put up with this kids crap, so the next time he was bullying me I hit him in the stomach and chest a couple times. And you know what he did? He hit me in the face. Boy was I surprised. I hung in there and defended myself until a teacher broke it up. I wished I'd have hit him in the face first, but I wasn't a fighter like he was so didn't. He never bothered me again after that though.
Write anytime you'd like. I will always try to respond as soon as I get your email.
My phone let me know he'd written me back so I answered him right away.
Will Waters <willw521K@*-----*.com> Sun, August 3, 6:15 PM
Seriously, I'd love to stay in touch. I've really missed having an adult who gives a shit in my life. The college fund thing still sickens me because it's definitely because I'm gay. Soon after coming out my sperm donor (dad) told me I'd probably want to be a chef or an airline steward and therefore probably wouldn't need it. Soon afterwards he had a brand new 2012 Ford F250 4x4 supercab truck, a $38,000 truck, and an expensive new hunting rifle. When I say it mysteriously disappeared I was being a bit generous and tongue-in-cheek. Oh well...the recruiter has given me tons of info on excellent career training opportunities and college assistance programs. And I'm gonna be out of this backwards town and see some of the world beyond Idaho finally too!
Yeah, Jennifer rocks, and her boyfriend Gavin is cool too. He's a fairly new thing in her life and she made him understand immediately that I'm part of the package deal. He starts on the jv defensive line and says he's got my back. Talk is cheap though when a guy is trying to get laid, so we'll see... but things are looking up at least.
I'm definitely still really crushed about the loss of all my guy friends. Still stings a bunch even after almost two years, but whatever. What can you do, ya know?
I really hope your right about being pleasantly surprised about my senior year. It's supposed to be the best and funnest time of high-school, but I'll settle for no major trauma or drama. I'm sure a boyfriend is WAY too much to hope for, but hey I can dream right?
I will definitely be keeping in touch with you too. You seem to care, understand, be very wise, and actually listen. Thanks so so much.
Bye for now! ;-) Will w
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