I Found an Angsty Poem Apparently Written For My Summer Crush (in 2008)
It’s really, really hard to find time to write on Fridays. Think this will be the day I post something from my past.
Here’s an email and poem I wrote in the summer of 2008 for the first boy I crushed on super hard. We spent three days together. He was a pre-hipster, mediocre photography student at a Chicago art school. His friends told me, “Don’t admit that you like him. He’ll lose interest immediately.” He lived in an ‘artist commune’ with an unknown number of roommates in Chicago’s Carpet District. It was the first summer I worked out consistently, and thus displayed a canny sexual confidence. We cuddled on a futon barely clinging to the hardwood floor and talked about shooting a coffee table photography book of spooning positions. I called in sick to my internship three days in a row because he was all I could think about. After I paid for his dinner and a six-pack because he said he was poor, he said we should hang out again that weekend. I called. He claimed he was sick. Then he became slow in responding to T9 text messages sent from my Razr. So I sent him a long email, excerpted here:
The fact is, P*****, and I’m going to get this out there right away so I don’t obfuscate the point I’m trying to make: you made me feel something that I had not really felt before. Ever. No, it wasn’t love. Don’t flatter yourself: three days is a speck in the dustbowl of our lives, and I’m already feeling absolutely crazy for thinking this much about it.
But this is the part in the romantic comedy when the guy with a crush realizes that he must be crazy to keep pursuing something that probably was never meant to be. Life is always stranger than fiction, and all these movies we love about ‘courtship’ are such bullshit but they’re great pretending things; when someone really keeps calling and texting in real life we all know it is 90% just creepy.
The truth is I’ve experienced practically nothing. I feel like I matured a little slow emotionally, as is common in some gay men, preferring to defer emotion indefinitely, choosing instead to serve as a receptacle of the trials and tribulations of my friends, freely accepting their pains and pleasure, from suicide to star-crossed-love, I gather it all from a marble pedestal and disseminate advice, never failing to see one side of the story or the other from an enlightened, impartial position.
And here comes the part when all of the previous paragraphs fall apart: for some reason I can’t get you off my mind. I was told, right off the bat, that this is a frequent occurrence for you, that for me to ‘win you over’ I’d have to continue my apathy and keep my distance. Honestly, I don’t know if I was effective in this, I might have texted or called a bit too much, but you were sick, I was out of work and I thought considering how well our weekend went it was not out of the ordinary to want to know how you were doing. I know I get pissed as hell when guys call/text too much, and I tried to carefully but honestly let you know how much I wanted us to hang out again.
He never responded. I was 20 years old. So I wrote this poem:
Free beer! Tomorrow.
We drank warm
gin and Diet
on a rooftop,
the sky too close.
For comfort a
hammock, a hug?
Teeth clink on
they were ice.
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