The slow evolution of Dave took a giant leap last week when my mother cornered me at the dining room table (shortly after John left to take a walk) “Do you have anything you want to talk about?”
“Um, not really…?” I immediately think to myself ‘here we go’ and start suppressing the butterflies in my stomach with a swallow of single malt whiskey.
“I just thought I’d get you to confirm or deny one way or the other that you and John are a couple.”
Wow, what? Did she really say that? That and dad is sitting at the table, too. Awkward conversations between the three of us are not exactly par for the course. I put them right up there with how many times George W. Bush has stumped Stephen Hawkings on a question regarding quantum physics.
I asked them if this information wasn’t already old news; seeing as how we’ve lived in the same dwellings for close to 13 years now. “It’s just something people end up getting out in the open,” she says. “C’mon, you know we’re two very liberal people,” Dad says.
I made the point that I didn’t ever want to be the center of attention and never wanted this to be a cause for being treated differently. It was enough, I said, that I treated myself differently while we lived in the bigot-Mecca known as Winchester, Virginia throughout my high school years. The 80’s and 90’s were not (and probably still aren’t) a pleasant place to be where the “N” word and the “F”(aggot) word were used like 50 cent/gallon gas by teenagers who just got their paychecks. I made sure not to impose blame upon them. It was my fault for not trusting them to be comfortable enough around them to be myself.
I always thought actions spoke louder than words; I still don’t talk very much. I’m not a big fan of engaging in conversation. I suppose some people need to hear things as at least an acknowledgement that their opinions mean something to you and that concealing things like this make it harder for them to get to know you (even if they are family).
I turned 41 today. Better late than never, I suppose. Not everything needs to make sense, except for the things we can control. Chief Dan George once said “I shall endeavor to persevere.” I’m going to endeavor to live, not exist. That much I can control.
Live with who I am, or exist elsewhere.
Thanks, mom & dad.