A Matter of Perspective
by Elias Scott
Will Waters <willw521K@*-----*.com> Fri, August 15, 5:56 AM
The guy you're meeting. Brian huh? Well...I hope this "Brian" is somebody I would approve of young man!! Ha!! Dude that is so awesome! ! Can't wait til I'm in a position where I can go out with a dude and have a great time! Someday... can't wait to hear what happens next with u two!
God I slept like almost 12 hours! Just woke up and drained the snake. Ha!! Just let Max out and gonna grab some juice so gimmee a sec.
Ok. Well... Mom and dad both gone to work already. I've got the day to do whatever I want! And no freaking therapy! Hoping to get together with at least gary and maybe even Jason again today! They were really super cool yesterday! Almost kinda just like old times! It was weird though in a way. Nobody ever brought up the last two years, ignoring me or not helping when they saw other bigger guys pick on me, we just kinda like started talking about my face and eye and pastor asshole and then what's been going on with them and Gary's girlfriend Carol and just whatever... just talking and bullshitting like guys do. And they brought a sack of McDonald's cheeseburgers and we ate and threw chunks of bun at Max and we laughed and he barked and it was just...awesome!
It was weird not talking about the 800 pound gorilla sitting there with us (the gay thing), but in some ways it was almost like I'd gone to sleep in a coma for two years then woke up and everything was still the same! They had to leave after a while because the football team has started their two-a-day schedule of workouts and practice now (they both play), and afternoon drills were starting soon. But still it was just so fucking cool. We dapped fists and called each other asshole just like we used to when they left and that was that! How cool is that????
I was half way thinking of taking Max down the road to the football field (it's not far) and sitting in the bleachers and watching practice but that might be too big a distraction for everyone just yet. Gary n Jason said all anybody's talking about is me, my dad and pastor asshole. Plus with the broken blood vessel in my eye and my semi shiner I still kinda look pretty much a mess, so guess I'll just hang out today. Plus i did tell dad I wouldn't go talking about the whole asshole mess around town so it's probably best if I lay low through the weekend. Did tell the guys to stop back in between practices again today. Hopefully they will!
Well... I haven't got much else I guess. Had a nice talk with the rents before they went out last night. They're being over the top super duper nice to me. It's gonna take some getting used to, but I think I can! Ha! They went to dinner last night with two other couples from our church (one guy who sits on the board) so I'm pretty much sure why they went and what they were talking about. And ya know what Frank? I'm not even in a hurry to find out about it and I'm not even gonna ask. In some ways it's still nice to be a kid. I did my part, I got popped in the face, now as far as I'm concerned the bigs can all take it from here. There is one little tiny chunk left of the very last summer that I'm officially still a kid in, and I'll be God damned if asshole is gonna steal it from me. Period.
Love ya Frank! Max too (woof!) Ha!Will. Xxxooo
I read my emails now and I smile sometimes. Everything was new and exciting. Frank's emails seemed so full of wisdom at the time and they are, but he was in his 70's and I sound like a kid and he sounds calm, rational, and mature. I could tell he shared my excitement, but he acted like he'd come to accept the good and bad in life. We all have problems and have to deal with them. His calmness was what I needed because it gave me the freedom to be me and talk about all the exciting things in my life, and about being gay. It was great knowing that he cared and wouldn't pass judgment on me.
frankf4321s <frankf4321S@-****-.com> Fri, August 15, 8:55 AM
Glad you slept 12 hours. You sure needed it. I just got up myself after a good 8 hours which I rarely get because I have to get up on the middle of the night to pee. Didn't last night. So slept straight through. Like you need to know all this personal stuff.
Anyway, I was somewhat surprised that Gary and Jason didn't mention the elephant in the room (the fact you are saying you're no longer gay), but I'm sure they'd just as well put it all behind them, not talk about it, and just act like the last two years never happened. That seems somewhat normal. You also have to figure that if they're cool with everything, so will the other kids at school.
Who'd have thought that the incident with the pastor was going to pave the road for you. See, God does work in mysterious ways, and He's proven how much He loves you. (All of us of course.) But we have to put in a little work ourselves. "God helps those who help themselves." Too often we just don't know God loves us or believe it. You can't imagine how hard I prayeded for you. God and I had some pretty serious talks because my fear was that everything might turn to you know what because you sounded a bit down and scared. Rightfully so.
There will still be some ups and downs. That's just the way life is, so expect them. The problem for most of us is we expect the world to run perfectly and of course is doesn't. I spent a pleasant morning and afternoon with this guy Brian, but haven't heard back from him. I wrote him and told him how much I'd enjoyed our time together, but have heard nothing from him. These kinds of things will happen to you too. It happens with guys who date girls too. But you know, I'm old enough now and enjoy my life so much I don't really care. I'm happy on my own, and if anything ever comes of these things then fine, if not, fine. I hope that doesn't make it sound like I don't give a shit, because I do, but not enough to lose sleep over it.
I have my writing, my friends, my children, my grandchildren, you, and me. I actually like myself and that makes a hell of a big difference. Having been able to help you to have more happiness in your life means far more to me than anything that would have happened between Brian and me yesterday. You see, I have life in perspective. After all life is all about perception. I'll never ever forget the picture of the teenager sitting in the rain and how we thought of all the positive scenarios and the video of the chameleon changing colors. I'd like to take credit for that, but I think it was God working through me.
I know you still have more ahead of you related to the asshole. But hopefully, he's out of there. I'm glad you told your dad about the locked door. They may ask you why that was significant and you should tell him that in all the years you've known him, kids went in and out of his office and the door was usually open and he never locked it. So you just thought it was odd. And of course the fact that he wanted all the details about the incident with James didn't seem right. The fact that he slapped you when you refused to give him details makes it seem all the more strange. But I wouldn't volunteer any of that unless they want more details about what happened in the room.
You have the makings of a writer in you. I love your description of how your dad tightened his hands on the steering wheel when you told him about the locked door. That is showing his anger without you going into great detail about how angry he was. That's the secret to good writing. Some kids may play football or basketball, but you should write. Just my opinion of course. Although now, you could probably run track or cross country. Your writing doesn't have to be gay themed until you're older. It can just be writing about incidents you see in school or things that are sparked in your mind when you watch a TV show or feel sad or happy. Savor everything and write about it. After all, all fiction is just a figment of our imagination. You can also write non-fiction and describe an event with Max or a day of fishing or a day you spent with your dad or your mom and dad. I'm glad you're keeping a journal. That will be great to go back and get stories from when you're older or even now.
Well, I went on far longer than I expected. I was just going to write a short note and you see what I ended up doing. You have changed my life too. Don't forget that.
Love You Brave Prince. Your are a Brave Prince because you have shown great bravery through all this and it hasn't been easy, and I know you will need to continue to be brave.
Oh, I almost forgot. Tell Max woof too.
Will Waters <willw521K@*-----*.com> Fri, Aug 15, at 8:57 AM
I will! Max is like the light in my life! And u too! Oh, and I LOVE being called "brave prince"! It's special between me n you, and when I read it I wear it like a badge of honor! I've broken down and BEEN broken down a lot in the last few years, but damn it, if nothing else, I HAVE been brave!!!! And thinking I'm a prince doesn't suck either! Ha! Love u soooo much Frank! Will n Max!
I loved that Frank called me "Brave Prince." It might not seem like much, but it gave me courage and made me feel good about myself and everything that was happening. I'm not sure what I'd have done if Frank hadn't come along. My life was going so perfect and I was so happy I wrote Frank another email before he wrote again.
Will Waters <willw521K@*-----*.com> Fri, Aug 15, at 9:13 AM
Hope ya read my last message, lotta stuff innit. Anyway, couple of things or thoughts...
First of all yesterday was cool, weird and thrilling all at once! Gary and Jason were so fucking cool to me! And nobody said a thing to me bout being gay, am I gay, did asshole hitting me have anything to do with gay stuff...nothing! We just hung and bullshitted and talked and laughed and gave each other shit like the last two years never even happened! Here's the question, and then there will be another. Should I even, in light of my interaction with gary and Jason, even pursue the "I'm not really gay" thing with them and everyone at school or just keep my mouth shut cause they're popular and treated me so cool and let things happen and just unfold? Don't know...
Now the other question. Gary and Jason were like treating me like some kinda celebrity about this whole mess, and they said ALL the kids round town are talking about. How do I downplay this whole thing in the three short weeks before school starts?
And lastly, asshole... I just don't wanna talk to any more adults about this whole fucked up thing. EVER! Do ya think I can just tell dad I'm just done with this shit and that's that and him and mom and all the rest of the bigs can just do what they think is best and leave me out of it?? I'm already having shitty dreams about it and I think the sooner I pull back from the whole mess the sooner I can move on. Whaddaya think?? About everything.
It's a beautiful day here! Sitting in the back yard with my guitar and Max, it's 68 degrees and sunny, and life finally doesn't totally suck!
Love ya Frank! Max too! Will. xxoo
frankf4321s <frankf4321S@-****-.com> Fri, Aug 15, 10:34 AM
You've asked some tough questions here.
First, in my last email I mentioned my family, my children etc and I know that as a gay person you may or may not be able to have children, but who knows what the world will be like in five or ten years. But that's doesn't mean you can't have a family of a different sort.
I have a second family of former students and athletes who keep in touch with me. They're all in their 50's now. Can you believe it?
My point is, you can create your own family by teaching and/ or coaching. That's a good reason to turn out for a sport. In all my years of coaching and seeing naked teenagers I never had a lustful thought about any of them. I was the mentor and someone they could come to and talk to about anything. I let them know that. Not every one took advantage of that, but I helped quite a few kids along the way.
I'm going to answer your questions in the next email. I just thought I needed to say this.
God bless Brave Prince.
I had a lot of questions and was a little disappointed that he didn't answer them in that last email. But Frank had never let me down yet. He wrote me about twenty minutes later.
frankf4321s <frankf4321S@-****-.com> Fri, Aug 15, 10:54 AM
In answer to your last email. First, with the kids at school, I wouldn't mention anything about being gay or formerly gay unless they bring it up. Just stick to the story we agreed to. Just be like them and act like nothing bad happened the last two years. I'm sure they want to put it behind them too. They probably feel a little guilty for letting you down. Sounds like they decided to let it go and probably know you went to the minister to tell him you made a mistake when you came out, and then because he's a pervert, he slapped you. That would be my take on that. Since they are the popular kids, others will follow.
Now, I don't think you can shy away from confronting the church people. I understand why you want to, but you owe it to yourself, the church, and other kids who might be affected by the asshole. You can't be a "brave prince" unless you're act brave. Otherwise you're going to be a cowardly lion like in the Wizard of Oz.
The bigs can't do anything without your testimony. You have to tell them what happened. I know it's going to be hard and you'd like to avoid it, but like I said, that would be the cowardly thing to do. You didn't do anything wrong. Why did he bring up the James' stuff? Like I said, don't mention the James' stuff, but if they ask, you just tell them the same thing you told the minister. Hopefully they'll act differently, and it won't take long. Only a few sentences. Chances of them saying anything to anybody else are small because their church could already be in deep shit if you decided to sue. No one is going after your dad for punching the asshole. You might talk to your dad about suing them. It wouldn't mean you'd have sue but that would hold it over their heads in a subtle way. Although, from what you said about your dad, this has already gone through his mind and could even be what your parents were arguing about. This is a touchy area so you are the best judge of what you should do. You don't want you and your family to appear sue happy.
The shitty dreams will eventually go away, and if they don't, you can always go to counseling and have the church pay for it. The counselling would't hurt. I know I'm kind of serving as your counselor, but I only play one on TV and in our emails.
I know people often talk about living in the present, and we should, but hope is important too, and you can only have hope if you expect the future to be better. So expect the future to be better. You've heard of the self-fulfilling prophecy. What we prophecy (spelling?) to ourselves tends to come true. So think positively and expect great things. Look how your life has already changed because you began to see a better future with your family and friends.
That's all for now. Over and out. Woof. God loves you and so do I. I'm off to get my body in better shape so I'll be more sexy. Ha ha
Will Waters <willw521K@*-----*.com> Fri, August 15 1:43 PM
See! This is why I always can't wait to hear from u! Cause u make sense and you help me sort all this shit out and u point me in the right direction. Well...there's more reasons too...because u care about me and I care about u and I haven't had enough of that in the last few years. But there's a MUCH BIGGER reason too. Think about this Frank...do u realize that if I hadn't read ur stories and contacted u and u hadn't replied back and we hadn't had all those important conversations and u hadn't come up with that plan and I hadn't done it and and and....well u get it. Do u realize what you've done!?!??!? You've changed my whole complete entire total life!!!!! TRULY!!!!!!
When I think of where I was a few short weeks ago, almost ready to throw in the towel, and where I'm at right now. SHIT!!!!
You're right. I have to do what I have to do about asshole. I want to be the brave prince and not the cowardly lion. I'll go to the church tomorrow with dad and sit down with the elders and board members and tell everything. Everything. Because it's the right thing to do. May not like or enjoy it, but I'll do it. But NOT with any women present (I'm holding firm on that). I'll do it to stop and get rid of asshole, I'll do it to protect others, and I'll do it because it'll make u proud of me and I'll deserve to be called the brave prince. That may even be a book title someday...who knows.
It took a while to get back to u because I napped for a while, then Gary and Jason did stop by again before afternoon football drills. And it was a lot like yesterday, like I'd been asleep for two years and woke up. I'm so happy.
Don't know yet what I'm gonna do with all the other kids, right now I'm apparently enjoying a rather strange kind of popularity based on both newly created folklore and sympathy. Hell, I'll take it. But I think I'll take a few more days and a few more conversations in with u before I make any moves or decisions. After all, it's been two long miserable years digging this miserable damn hole, so why can't I take a few more days to figure out how to fill it back in.?
You and Max have been my rocks and support through all of this wild and crazy journey. One of you talks, and one of you doesn't. But each of you say you love me in your own special and unique ways, and you're both priceless beyond words to me. Thank u.
Love ya. Will
Frank wrote me a long ass email back. There was so much information to digest, I wasn't sure I could remember it all. He wanted me to be prepared for my meeting at the church.
frankf4321s <frankf4321S@-****-.com> Fri, August 15 2:13 PM
What a wonderful email. You make me feel better about myself. My son said to me when I told him that I was going to publish Knots at gay sites that he thought I might touch some young peoples' lives. He was right and that's why I did it. The original story wasn't about two gay teenagers. It was just about two good friends. I changed it hoping that it might make a difference in some readers' lives, and it has. There are probably others who have never written me whose lives may have changed because of Knots.
You mentioned something about going out to watch football practice. If the guys come by again, ask them what they think about you coming out to watch practice. You may find a lot of guys come up to you after practice and talk to you. I'm not sure you can expect Gary and Jason to keep coming by every day so you may have to take a little action yourself so they don't get the impression you're just waiting around for them to come by. You could find out what they're doing for the weekend and do something with them. Feel them out.
These are just some thoughts. It's up to you. You're in a better position to know what to do than me. I'm also sure your dad will respect your wishes not to have a woman present.
When you meet tomorrow at the church, I'd take the following tack, if James comes up. (I'm not sure it will. They'd be stupid to bring it up, but sometimes people do stupid things.) "I've prayed on this and God and me are good. The whole thing needs to be put to rest.". Tell them the truth. Tell them you know God loves you and understands you and therefore you're at peace with Him because James was a one time thing and God has forgiven you. (Not that he needs to, but you want them to know you understand it was just kids' stuff.) After all, you really did nothing wrong. Hopefully, it won't come up.
Having been a principal and having to deal with getting to the truth about an incident I wouldn't necessarily want all the details like with James. I'd just want to know what happened to you before you went into the office and what happened in the office. That's all that's important (You might let them know that if they stray from it.)
As a principal, I'd say "tell me what happened" I suggest you go back and read the email you wrote me about what happened or use the version below, which is the one I remember from what you wrote in your email. But you want to be consistent so it's worth looking at your other email.
Here's the story. "I spent the first part of the day scraping paint etc. After lunch he asked me to come to his office. I came in and he locked the door. We sat and he told me he wanted to know all the details of what I done when I was just a kid and I told him it was personal and I didn't want to talk about it. He insisted that I give him the details and I refused. I couldn't understand why he needed to know any of that. I know God loves me and understands we were just kids. But Pastor Todd insisted that I give him all the details, and when I wouldn't, he got up and slapped me. (Actually, I'm not sure exactly what he did, but you do. Was he seated next to you? Did he get up from his desk. Were you reading Leviticus and he slapped you?) That's when I unlocked the door and left. My mom called me when she saw me leaving. I told her what happened and she called dad." That's where I'd stop.
It's nice and short and sweet and you don't even have to mention James' name or anything you two did. Nadda.
Now, I doubt they'll leave it there, but they probably won't ask you any details about James. They may just want you to clarify things that are unclear to them. That's normal. Just take a short pause to think about what you're going to say before you answer. Not too long though. Again, if they ask you about James, just say it's personal and you've made your peace with God and your parents.
They may ask:
"Are you sure he locked the door?"
"Why do you remember that."
"I thought it was unusual. I'd been in his office before and he'd never locked it. That's why I noticed."
"So you're positive he locked the door?"
"Yes, I had to unlock it to get out of his office." ----- (Or just leave it at Yes. If it's only locked on the outside and not the inside, then of course this doesn't apply. You know, some doors have those push button things so when you push the button in, it locks the door so no one can get in, but if you're inside the room, all you have to do it turn the handle and leave. In that case you heard the button pop out as you turned the knob or like I said, just leave it at "Yes.".)
"Why do you think he slapped you?"
"I don't know."
"Did you yell at him or call him any names?"
"Did you touch him or push him?""No."
"So you have no idea why he slapped you?"
"No. But the fact I wouldn't give him any details seemed to frustrate him."
"The ones about what I did when I was just a kid."
"That's personal and it's not pertinent to the fact he slapped me."
I'm trying to be honest here because this is the way I heard your story and I'm trying to anticipate the kinds of things I'd ask if I was in their shoes.
"How does your face feel."
"It hurts. I thought I might have had a concussion." (Well I know I was afraid you did and your mom probably was too. I'm not sure what you thought.)
Now, I expect your dad to step in somewhere along here, but I have no idea where. He may just remain silent as long as they don't go into areas he thinks are inappropriate, such as things related to James.
They may ask you how long you scraped. They may ask why you were working at the church in the first place. If the idea was Pastor Todd's, you say Pastor Todd told my dad he thought I had too much time on my hands and that I should spend the next couple weeks working at the church. This really puts him in a worse light than he's already in.
If I was asking, I'd want to know where he was sitting and where you were sitting before he slapped you and where you each were when he slapped you. Were you just talking or what? Where was he when he slapped you? Was he right next to you? Was he standing or sitting etc. They may ask what he said to you just before he slapped you. Be prepared with an answer. Or they may ask what you said to him before he slapped you.
Never lie though. I'm giving these scenarios because this is the way I remember it. If not, then you tell your side.
Of course there's the unlikely chance they'll ask you if you're gay. I'm sure they'd like to avoid that. This may be the only lie you'd have to tell. But given the circumstances, I wouldn't call it a lie. 1. You were young when you and James fooled around. 2. You have never had sex with any boy, even James. 3. You thought you were gay because of the fooling around and you believe you made a big mistake by telling everyone you were because you were just a confused teenager. Theoretically, you still are. The men interviewing you will never admit it, but I'm sure they've all been through some of this when they first hit puberty. They'll be able to empathize with you. (Of course, you're not going to tell them about how you love the essence of a man, which is one of the best descriptions I've ever heard by the way. I haven't been able to find that email.)
I can't believe I put so much into this, but I thought you'd feel better at tomorrow's meeting if I gave you some guidelines.
So may God bless you on your QUEST Brave Prince. Love Ya.
[For those who use webmail, or whose regular email client opens when they want to use webmail instead: Please right click the author's name. A menu will open in which you can copy the email address to paste into your webmail system (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo etc). Each browser is subtly different, each Webmail system is different, or we'd give fuller instructions here. We trust you to know how to use your own system. If the email address pastes with %40 in the middle, replace that with an @ sign.]