A Matter of Perspective
by Elias Scott
frankf4321s <frankf4321S@-****-.com> Mon, Aug 18, 8:02 PM
I'm back on my computer. It sounds like you handled it perfectly with Gary and Jason. I'm surprised that their question about you being gay caught you by surprise. You gave them the right answer. Now you're home free until after you graduate and take off for college, which hopefully your grandparents will pay for. OR maybe your grades will come up now that you're more relaxed and you can get a couple academic scholarships.
It's nice that Jason and Gary said they didn't care if you are gay or not. But hell, why take a chance on them getting all worried. It will be good for you to go out with them to the show. Other people will see you and that will solidify your place in the new order of things since you said they're pretty popular.
Been watching a thing on Project Greenlight which is about writing movie scripts and making movies. It goes into all the details. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck put on this contest to get a movie produced and directed by an unknown writer. I watched the whole thing and bought the DVD's and just realized that it all took place in 2002. Twelve years ago. I can't believe it. Someone told me they are planning on doing it again. Will, we can write a movie script. Sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself again. I tend to be full of ideas that I'm always ready to run with before I think it out. But it would be fun to collaborate on something like that and write your story. Problem is, if we do that, the cat will be out of the bag. But hopefully by then, everyone will be cool with it.
Tell Jennifer that I love her too because she thinks I've made a difference in your life. Maybe she could invite me to graduation. Well, let's not worry about that now. You may have some ideas of your own. Talk to you later. Hope you get a good night's sleep. I was tired all day for some reason.
God bless. Love ya. Again, I wish you pleasant dreams. Have your nightmares gone away? I guess they have because you haven't mentioned them.
Night Brave Prince
Will Waters <willw521K@*-----*.com> Mon, Aug 18, 9:52 PM
I think it's important that I go with the guys tomorrow night too, and if I'm all packed and totally ready and promise to be back and in bed by midnight curfew I'm betting they'll probably let me. I think they'll understand how important it is to me, plus I can tell them that because of my trip it's probably the last opportunity I'll get to hang with any of the other kids until school starts. And I think they'll let me go because they also know I've done like nothing with anyone my age in almost two years. Sad but true. I'll be honest and tell ya I'm a bit scared though. Hard not to be. Gary and Jason are like at the top of the social pecking order though, so the teenage gang mentality being what is, if they're cool with me I'll bet I'll probably be ok. I think you of all people though can understand my fear. Gotta start somewhere I guess right?
I was surprised that Jason came right out and said "are u gay" for two reasons. First of all neither of them had actually just come right out and directly asked me yet when they came over before. And secondly because gary sent me that text saying "you're cool with us". So, I guess I shouldn't have expected the topic, especially after asshole, to simply get glossed over, but at the same time I wasn't expecting such a quick direct approach. Oh well...so far so good.
I think collaborating on a film about this whole wild and wooly adventure would be awesome! I know I'd watch it! It's turning out to be quite a story! The movie would have to start with James and I (tastefully portrayed of course) and end with that romantic scene on some pretty college campus like you suggested earlier in one of our little exercises. Man, when you think about it all, dropping back and looking at the whole thing, it's quite something really. Epic even. What a crazy ride! Sure hope it ends well, even if it does take a while.
I've gotten really used to being on my own pretty much these last two years, and most certainly not being at the center of anyone's attention, except for the thankfully brief moments when I got picked or beat on, so all that's happened and is happening is really kinda overwhelming right now. In a way this trip couldn't have better timing. If I can leave on a high positive note after a nice non-eventful night out with the other kids and start back to school on that same positive note when I get back that would be awesome! Hope I'm not hoping for too much. I know that my behavior and other's behavior tomorrow nite at the movies though is gonna be important one way or the other, hence my fear.
Last night first night without bad nightmares. Hope it's a trend!
Good night my friend, teacher, favorite writer, mentor, therapist and all around pal! Damn u gotta lot of hats to wear bro! Love ya! Will n Max
frankf4321s <frankf4321S@-****-.com> Mon, Aug 18, 10:12 PM
I understand your fear and something would be wrong with you if you didn't have some. I know you said you don't drink or take drugs so don't do anything which could cause you to let your guard down just in case they decide to go out and have a beer afterwards. I don't know if they're that way or not.
Guys do tend to be more direct and that's a good thing. It gave you a chance to clear the air and it appears Gary didn't seem such a skeptic this time.
Like my mom always used to say to me. Just be yourself. Don't try to be like someone you're not. You know, don't try to be too funny or crack stupid jokes or do things that make it look like you're trying too hard. Just be yourself like you've been when they come by and visit. Also keep in mind that they are probably nervous too. That should make you feel better.
What's nice here, and you're right, is you'll spend an evening with them and then take off on your trip and that will take the pressure off of all of you to hang with them until school starts. I'd say the fact they've come by so often to visit means a lot.
Glad to hear the nightmares are gone. I'll be anxious to hear how your night goes with "the boys."
Good night again. Pleasant dreams. God loves you and so do I.
Will Waters <willw521K@*-----*.com> Tue, Aug 19, 8:06 AM
I'm up! Actually I've been up since like 6, which I never do in the summer but too excited to sleep in. And I got the ok from ma for the movies tonite as long as she checks that I'm all packed and I'm home and in bed by midnight curfew since I'm gettin up at 5 tomorrow. Kinda feel like a little kid with all the conditions, but I'm ok with it. She did say it's about time I got outta the house. I wanted to tell her she's as much responsible for that as all the other kids but I held my tongue. I'll tell u that I'm happy to be being treated nicely again by mom n dad and gary n Jason, but I'm still less than thrilled about having to lie to arrive at this point, and I'd be lying if I said I'm not still a little bitter about it all too. "It all" being the last two miserable years. Oh, things are progressing and I'm moving on...
Nervous about tonite though, VERY! This must be kinda like what John Glenn felt like before he blasted off into space and history. Well, maybe not quite, but u get the picture. It's kinda like my personal first flight into space so to speak ya know? Kids and the social scene is a lot different between 15 and basically being seniors, and I've been completely out of the whole social scene for two years now. I don't know how to do this, I haven't evolved for lack of a better term along the same lines with all the other kids. I don't know who does what, with who, how they've all changed etc etc. Hope I'm making at least a little sense here, I'm worried because I've basically spent two complete years out of the loop on the whole world of kids outside of school. Maybe I'm working myself up a bit too much here, I dunno...
Anyway I'm going, come what may! Gotta lot of laundry and packing to do. Grandma being the uber organized person that she is actually gave me a checklist. A CHECKLIST! How funny is that!?? Ha! Shouldn't laugh though...I'm using it.
Once again Max is being no help at all. Stupid dog! Ha! He's gonna hang out with ma at church everyday while I'm gone. He's kinda like the mascot there and loves the attention.
I still really like the idea of a story or movie about all this. It would have to be called "The Plan", what else? And if it's a movie Sean Connery had to play you! (HOT!) HA!
Gotta run bro, love ya lots!!!! Will n Max! Woof!
frankf4321s <frankf4321S@-****-.com> Tue, Aug 19, 8:26 AM
I'm at the track just getting ready to jog when I saw your note. I understand your fear but just be yourself and keep your mouth shut unless you actually have something to say, because it's better to keep your mouth shut than say too much . You don't want it to look like you're trying too hard to fit in. Sometimes its best just to sit back, relax, and observe until you get the lay of the land. You can't even tell your friends you feel a little funny not having been out in so long with anyone. It sounds like they will understand. Do your best to relax and have a good time. You are really the Brave Prince because all of this takes a lot of courage. Pray and I'll pray that everything goes well and you have a very good time.
God bless. Love ya
frankf4321s <frankf4321S@-****-.com> Tue, Aug 19, 10:26 AM
Don't think about what you're doing so much as lying, but as friendly payback with the emphasis on friendly. It's not hurting anyone.
Good luck. Love ya. Don't forget you're the Brave Prince.
Will Waters <willw521K@*-----*.com> Tue, Aug 19, 11:13AM
I feel like a girl going on a date tonite! Can't even decide what to wear! Jeez! No, I don't wanna BE a girl (chuckle!), just feel like one going thru all my clothes trying to decide what to wear. Gary's picking me up around 6:30 (he's got a cool ass car!), and I guess we're picking up his girlfriend and Jason and going to a city about 25 miles from here and meetin a bunch of other kids at the theatre. Don't even know what we're seeing, don't care. At least being at a movie it gives me two hours that I don't hafta say anything to anyone. Whew!
I'll be home before midnight, so I don't turn into a pumpkin (ha!), so I promise I'll let ya know all the gory details. I honestly haven't been this nervous since coming out! Deep breath here! Ok... it'll all be fine I'm sure (fairly sure), but I'm a little outta practice with this kinda thing ya know?!
We love ya! Woof! Ha! Xxoo
Will Waters <willw521K@*-----*.com> Tue, Aug 19, 11:27AM
I know u have a life and can't pander to me constantly, but a little pep talk here wouldn't suck. 17 years ain't that long to be on this earth, and when ya take two years out of that time doing nothin but running and hiding and falling behind socially with everyone else my age it makes tonite kinda like TERRIFYING! I know it's just a friggin movie Frank, but it might as well be accepting the Nobel peace prize! I'm driving myself so fucking crazy I can't even eat lunch and I haven't finished packing! HELP!!!!!
I was in a friggin panic. Frank was at a meeting and was going to be gone until around 4:00 or so. I wasn't sure I could wait that long. I paced and tried to take a nap and relax, but none of it worked. Frank's word, "Be yourself" kept ringing in my head. Like I really knew how to be myself. I had no idea after two years who that self really is. Part of who I am is gay, but I can't really go with that. In this situation, that part of me isn't important I guess. We're just going to a movie after all. If I got Frank right, be myself means not to act like a smart ass or like I know too much or want to fit in so badly I'll do and say anything. Damn. This is going to be fucking hard. But like Frank says, "You're the Brave Prince."
But I gotta to tell ya, I feel more like the Cowardly Lion. Nothing ventured nothing gained as they say. Still, I wanted to hear back from Frank right away. I know he doesn't want me to be dependent on him, but what can I do? Who else do I have? If it wasn't for Frank, I'd probably be dead by now. It's like God put him in my life and the whole thing with Pastor Todd was a part of God's plan. Hell, I don't know. Seventeen years, two of which were spent in hiding and an outcast after coming out of the closet, hasn't prepared me for tonight. Now that I'm doing my best to go back in the closet, everyone treats me like a human again. Why can't life be simple?
frankf4321s <frankf4321S@-****-.com> Tue, Aug 19, 12:17 PM
I have a noon meeting and will be done around 3:30 PM or so . Pep talk at 4:00 or 4:15 . Like I said, just be yourself. You'll be in the show. Everyone will be watching the movie and can't say much for a couple hours. Be a good listener. You're older and they're older that's all. They want to see it work so be confident. More later
From my droid
I answered. "Goin to be waitin!
He wrote, "I'm here," a short time later.
He likes to let me know he's paying attention and hasn't forgotten me.
I wrote, "Ok so like what I need is like conversation starters, answer to obvious questions (u know the ones!) and a force field that can deflect laser beams!!!!
frankf4321s <frankf4321S@-****-.com> Tue, Aug 19, 2:22 PM
I don't think they're going to ask you about being gay again. If they do, just tell them that's all in the past and you'd just as soon put it behind you.
I just gave you some ideas in my previous email. Like I said. Just be yourself and relax. They are not the enemy. At least we hope not.
The only problem I foresee is if you get together with a few other guys who want to delve into your life. You might ask Gary and Jason on the way to the show to run interference for you if you get together or see people at the show. They can deflect that crap for you by saying "that shit's all under the bridge. Let's move on." They're well respected and leaders, so that should be enough from them to get the guys or girls onto something else.
There is absolutely no way to anticipate everything that is going to happen so you'll have to play it by ear. Remember, think before you open your mouth. Don't look all uptight, be confident, but don't get overconfident either. Overconfidence can lead to its own disasters.
God bless. Pray for wisdom and guidance before you go. I think everyone is rooting for you now, so be positive and enjoy the show and the evening.
Love ya like a son.
He wrote me again just a little later. Guess he didn't think he'd said enough. Frank must have sensed how terrified I was. And as it turned out neither of us could have anticipated what happened.
frankf4321s <frankf4321S@-****-.com> Tue, Aug 19, 2:40 PM
Let's draw this out. You have already spent a lot of time with these two guys. They want to renew your friendship and have done it by coming over quite a few times. They invited you out because they want you to know they have no problem being seen with you, gay or not.
Basically, the worst thing you could do is let your panic screw the evening up so relax. They're your friends again and have put the past behind them including (at least so they indicate) there homophobic ways.
You sound pretty socially savvy. And like I said when in doubt, keep your mouth shut. Respond to them. Ask them questions about football and who they're dating and what they plan to do after graduation. My x-wife is really good at that stuff. Everyone likes talking about themselves. The thing is, you don't want to be too obvious. After they tell you about their plans, tell them your plans. Tell them you had thought about the Army, but now you're thinking about going to college and maybe becoming a writer (Master's in Fine Arts) That's what writer's usually do. But not all of them of course. I have a Master's in Education.
The problem we have here is balance. You want to keep everything in balance. You don't want to say too much or too little. You don't want to be too interested in their future, but you want to be interested enough. You want to laugh and joke, but not so it seems forced or phony. You can tell them about your trip and going to a Mariners' game. They'll love that. Like I said, do what comes naturally. Just don't make it look forced. They probably expect you to be nervous anyway. I know I'm making is sound like I think it's going to be easy for you. But trust, me I share your fear. But like they say, "Face your fear and it will disappear."
Everyone likes to talk about themselves, so they'll love talking about the upcoming football season and what their chances are for a winning season. I'm not sure what positions they play, but if one is the QB, ask him what it's like. You could even joke that you are thinking about coming out for football! (Joking of course. But they might even encourage you.) I've had a lot of smaller guys turn out and they rarely get hurt and usually try the hardest because of their size. I'm not saying you should, but it's always a thought. You'd probably have no idea what's going on so it's probably better to leave it alone.
I see I have a couple other emails and I'm assuming they are from you.
Will Waters <willw521K@*-----*.com> Tue, Aug 19, 2:53 PM
Ok. That all makes perfect sense! And as usual I feel better just hearing u say stuff. I wish u could like go with me as the invisible and unheard man (except to me!) and be telling me all along what ta do n say. I know I know, I probably sound like some kind of pussy here. Sorry. Ya gotta realize that if something goes terribly wrong, and YES I'm paranoid!, that I don't exactly have a lot of experience to draw on ya know!?? I'll stop bitchin an worrying and get on with it I guess. U have helped me, THANK U!, guess I jus gotta suck it up and rock on. Been praying for this moment for a long time but now that its here, don't wanna have it be some "careful what ya wish 4" moment ya know!??
Still haven't picked out what to wear, so I'm going casual and neutral, jeans, tennis shoes and a concert tee shirt. Whatever.
I gotta take Max on a little walk cause we're between rain storms and he needs it. Frank why can't shit be easier? ??? Can't tell u how happy I am with things, getting clocked by asshole aside, but why can't shit just be simple! ??? I think I already know ur answer. I'll do my best tonite and come what may.
Gotta take care of Max and get ready. Plus still gotta finish packing and that's a condition of going out tonite. (Jeers!) Whatever..
Frank ur like my strength and lifeline. I love u SO much!!!!! Talk to ya later when I get back!!" Will n Max!
Frank wrote back with what I consider a prophetic email. Little did either of us know what lay ahead.
frankf4321s <frankf4321S@-****-.com> Tue, Aug 19, 3:07 PM
Glad you're feeling a little more confident. But hell life is about these kinds of things. It's about choices and forging ahead when we'd rather stay where we are. It's strange, but I had planned on telling you "be careful what ya wish for," but this is a good wish. Nothing ever goes perfectly, so don't expect it to, and that will help a lot.
In F. Scott Peck's book, The Road Less Traveled, his first chapter is called Problems and Pain.
Here are the first few lines of the chapter.
"Life is difficult.
"This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult---once we truly understand and accept it----then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters."
Hope this helps. I'd almost forgotten how great this quote is. I wish I'd have known this when I was your age. I didn't read this book until I was in my 50's. But it sits in a line of about five of my favorite books, one of them being A Catcher in the Rye and The People of the Lie, also by Peck, who says that evil people often hide in religion.
God bless. Love you. Have a great night.
He must have really been worried about me because he wrote me again a few minutes later.
frankf4321s <frankf4321S@-****-.com> Tue, Aug 19, 3:18 PM
What time are you going to the show. Are they picking you up? Will there be other people besides them. What show are you going to? Go online and find something out about it, but don't show off. It never hurts to have that in mind in case they decide to talk about the movie.
You need to be home by midnight so that gives you a deadline. Be sure to give them all a kiss goodnight. lol
Thank them for inviting you but don't act like they did you a big favor. That would bother them and make you seem weak. Always keep in mind that you are the Brave Prince and chameleon, who changes his colors to fit the situation. Keep that image in your mind. You'll notice the chameleon doesn't fidget all around when it changes color. It happens naturally. The chameleon is just being itself and doing what it has to do to blend in.
I haven't eaten lunch yet. Will check back with you after lunch.
Will Waters <willw521K@*-----*.com> Tue, Aug 19, 3:44 PM
Ok ur right. And I'll make sure not to be a smartass, but I needed to hear that cause I do sometimes get that way as a kinda weird defense mechanism, but I'll keep it in check, ur right, thank u. Gotta finish getting ready and feed Max. Frank thanks so much, really. Well.... here goes nuthin'! Or everything! Promise I'll do everything u said and keep it low key best I can. I'll tell ya soon as I can what happened. Love ya bro! THANK U!!!!
He wrote back. "Can't wait to hear about the night. And you're welcome."
I wrote, "Gotta finish getting ready, but one thought. Wish you coulda been my dad. Love u.
Sounds like you have a pretty good dad. He just needs a bit more wisdom so pray he gets some. Your mom too.
I'm flattered that you wish I was your dad, but these are the roles you and I are meant to play in this life. And you might think otherwise if you were one of my kids. We had our disagreements when they were growing up, and of course they understand me more now. My son really does understand now that he has kids of his own. Yeah, friendly payback.
PS Hope you and Max had a nice walk. I'm praying for you. But don't forget, "God works in mysterious ways, so what may or may not seem good, may be. Look at what happened with asshole.
Frank was right. God does work in mysterious ways, and I haven't been able to figure out what He's thinkin or planin.
[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.]