As I sit here tonight, at my desk, I am numb. I had been thinking about a school chum, someone whom I walked away from over forty years ago. He had walked away from me as well, given that I hurt him and rejected him, not once, but twice. For many years, he was never on my mind. I thought I had let him go, released him…we were free of each other. Little did I know, what I thought I was forever rid of came back around, as many forgotten memories do, filed away….locked in the memory vault ….catching you by surprise….many things remain in our “Life Files” forever. I admit I have been thinking about him off and on for the last twenty plus years or so. Where was he? Was it even remotely possible to text or email him?
So, recently, I began to search. With all of the available options available today, it didn’t take long before I had found him….at last. Finally, I would reach out….with no agenda, other than to say how much I regretted how things ended between us. I told myself, with purpose, not to say too much. With respect to his current situation, I felt the most loving thing I could do was to focus on asking for his forgiveness. That was not to be.
Upon looking deeper, I came upon another social site, where he was listed. There were photos….a brief look into what his life has been for the last forty plus years. The memorials and loving messages from his friends and family stunned me. Wait a minute……he’s….gone? He passed away in 2015. My tears arrived with the power of a title wave, swift, without regard to anything in their path. And now, a few day’s later, I have tried to turn my attention to the sixteen year old me, the sixteen year old that rejected this young man, whom I loved and I craved his physical attention.
I was too afraid to say the words to him. In nineteen seventy one, I knew nothing of gay liberation, or any of the growing social changes that were starting to gain real strength and power. In that period of time, now frozen and locked in my memory, it is difficult to believe that it actually was that way. It has taken forty five plus years to begin to forgive Myself….and to realize that the sixteen y.o. boy has been hurting deeply as well. He knew what he wanted, but the words were not to be found. Can I blame a sixteen year old boy…for not knowing what to do or say in that period of time? My heart aches for a multitude of reasons. I will never know if forgiveness was even possible, would he have read my message to him?
Today, at the age of sixty plus, I am working on forgiving myself for not having the right words to say, for not kissing him when he clearly wanted me to, for not knowing what to do or how to behave, given the social climate of the early seventy’s. It was not to be. Period. My heart continues to ache, and will for some time. Thank you for taking the time to read this. There is comfort in that, as well as many things in life, Here, Now, Today ! God bless. Sincerely, Lester B. USA